Latest developments with links to some key documents and news
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By Peter Ungphakorn
POSTED OCTOBER 4, 2022 | UPDATED AS INDICATED
Continue reading “UPDATES: expanding the WTO intellectual property waiver for COVID-19”
The waiver on patent protection for COVID-19 vaccines was agreed at the WTO Ministerial Conference on June 17, 2022. The text with brief explanations is here. The waiver is not an obligation. Countries can choose to suspend certain patent rights if they want.
Much of the work after the Ministerial Conference results from a provision for WTO members to decide within six months (by December 17, 2022) whether or not to expand the waiver to include COVID-19 tests and treatments:
“No later than six months from the date of this Decision, Members will decide on its extension to cover the production and supply of COVID-19 diagnostics and therapeutics”
Background: The original (revised) proposal; the debate; the proposed compromise and analysis.
Updates on the latest developments will be added here, with links to new documents and news items. That will include any notifications from countries changing their laws to apply the waiver. So far there are none.
- December 20, 2022 — The General Council agrees on postponing the deadline with no date set, but to be reconsidered in the Spring
- December 19, 2022 — The General Council postpones a decision on postponing the deadline
- December 17, 2022 — deadline for expansion decision missed, so far no country has moved to use the vaccine patent waiver agreed in June
- December 16, 2022 — formal meeting: chair’s draft binned, replaced by short paragraph postponing the deadline
- December 7, 2022 — chair’s draft factual report circulated
- December 6, 2022 — informal meeting discusses proponents’ draft and postponing deadline
- December 5–6, 2022 — US announces it will need time to consult stakeholders
- November 2, 2022 — informal meeting, with members’ positions on expanding the waiver to tests and treatments crystallised into three groups
- July 6, 2022 — first meeting after the vaccine patent waiver decision, followed by stock-taking and informal meetings
(TRIPS = trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights, the official description of intellectual property issues that are discussed in the WTO — they should be “trade-related” issues)
The longest sections are the schedule of commitments on goods (912 pages) and rules of origin (128 pages)
Posted by Peter Ungphakorn
SEPTEMBER 3, 2019 | UPDATED SEPTEMBER 10, 2019
These are links to the text of the UK-South Korea free trade agreement, signed in London on August 22 and published on the South Korean Government website. It has been posted on that site in separate parts.
The longest sections are the schedule of commitments on goods (912 pages) and rules of origin (128 pages).
(A few days later, the texts were published on the British government website on September 10, along with an explanatory memorandum. A report to Parliament was published separately the previous day.
(See also an earlier piece on rolling over the EU-S.Korea free trade agreement. This deal does that, but the devil is in the detail.) Continue reading “Text of the UK-South Korea free trade agreement”
Some interesting insights are in Swiss government information notes, prepared mainly for traders and producers
By Peter Ungphakorn
POSTED FEBRUARY 5, 2019 | UPDATED JANUARY 27, 2021
A summary of this is on the EU Relations Law blog, here
What have the UK and Switzerland agreed on their trade relationship post-Brexit? Essentially, they have been partly “rolling over” to the UK the present Swiss-EU trade relationship.
EU agreements are being “rolled over” into UK agreements in order to allow as much continuity as possible for trade and for business. They are called “continuity agreements”.
Below are an introduction to the provisions on goods and services, followed by Swiss government summaries of key parts of its agreements with the UK, mainly on goods but also narrowly on services.
But first, some context and explanations.
Continue reading “What have the UK and Switzerland agreed on trade post-Brexit?”
After Brexit, ‘Global Britain’ will want free trade agreements with the rest of the world. But it already has some 37 agreements with over 60 countries through the EU. Rolling them over into the UK’s own agreements will not be automatic. A look at the actual text of the EU-South Korea deal shows why
By Peter Ungphakorn
FEBRUARY 13, 2018 | UPDATED JANUARY 1, 2021
Leaving the EU means the British government will either have to convert the EU’s free trade agreements with other countries into UK deals, or risk losing them, when Brexit is supposed to be about to allowing Britain more freedom to enjoy trade agreements with the world outside the EU.
At the very least, the UK should continue with the deals it already has through the EU, with Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Canada, South Korea, Japan (in the pipeline) and many others. Academics at Sussex University say there are over 60 other countries. The UK government says there are over 100. It depends on what kind of agreement is counted. Continue reading “Grandfathering EU free trade deals for the UK: a look at an actual text”
Written replies to questions for the inquiry of the UK House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee’s inquiry on ‘Brexit: agriculture’, February 8, 2017
By Peter Ungphakorn
POSTED FEBRUARY 9, 2017 | UPDATED FEBRUARY 9, 2017
On February 8, 2017 the UK House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee’s inquiry on Brexit: agriculture published two sets written replies to questions. Continue reading “Questions on Brexit, agriculture, WTO schedules, standards, free trade agreements”