Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday held discussions with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on increasing vaccine availability in an equitable manner to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. India's proposal on waiver of certain TRIPS provisions to increase global vaccine production in order to take on the challenge of vaccinating the poorest of the poor and save lives was also discussed, an official statement said.
In October 2020, India and South Africa submitted a proposal suggesting a waiver for all World Trade Organization (WTO) members on the implementation of certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement in relation to the prevention, containment or treatment of Covid-19. The agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights or TRIPS came into effect in January 1995. It is a multilateral agreement on intellectual property (IP) rights such as copyright, industrial designs, patents and protection of undisclosed information or trade secrets. "The meeting focused on increasing vaccine availability in an inclusive and equitable manner to combat the global pandemic caused by Covid-19," the statement said.
The minister mentioned that the supply chains for the vaccine manufacturers must be kept open and unbridled as the entire world is in dire need of vaccines. "Both sides agreed to work towards the common resolve of increasing vaccine availability and saving lives," it added.