Why It Matters What’s Going on Right Now at the WTO

Source: CounterPunch
by Deborah James

“After many postponements, the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will take place June 12–15, 2022, in Geneva. Media coverage has focused almost exclusively on whether governments will agree to waive provisions of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement. The WTO’s TRIPS rules, which provide maximalist protections to Big Pharma’s patents, trade secrets, copyrights, industrial designs, and other ‘intellectual property,’ are preventing developing countries from being able to expand manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and tests. … But much else is at stake at the 12th Ministerial, including remedies for the current food crisis and ongoing food insecurity, fisheries subsidies, democracy, and development, and other vitally important issues.” (06/14/22)