Conflict, Chaos and Confusion
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Conflict, Chaos and Confusion

The Crisis in the International Trading System

William A. Kerr

After 15 years the WTO is not functioning as envisioned and is faced with many new trade challenges − climate change, terrorism, pandemics, genetically modified organisms, food safety − which it is ill-equipped to handle. Conflict, Chaos and Confusion sheds light on this deep and acute crisis, focusing on contentious and complex new trade issues and how they will affect international trade in the future.
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Chapter 9: The Efficacy of TRIPS: Incentives, Capacity and Threats

William A. Kerr


I see lots of hard work remains to be done in TRIPS, especially to bring Members’ distant positions closer. WTO Director General Supachai Panitchpakdi1 … we are encouraging manufacturers able to make available medicines at lower prices for developing countries to do so. Here again, we have suggested to offer a new legal tool at the EU level to ensure that the medicines exported under it do reach the countries for which they are intended and are not exported back to the EU. But let’s not forget the people who can’t afford medicines, however cheap they are. They too are entitled to treatment. Medicines are not a luxury. Let’s join forces in a coalition of the willing to make sure that those who need them get them. EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy2 We support treating pharmaceutical patent rights in a flexible fashion to help poor countries facing severe public health crises. However, we also believe that it is unwise for the on going negotiations in Geneva to move in a direction that threatens to erode the central protections of the TRIPS provisions as related to pharmaceutical patents throughout the developing world. United States Senators Charles E. Grassley and Jeff Bingaman3 Sadly, while HIV/AIDS has taken its greatest toll in sub-Saharan Africa, most of the region’s representatives to Geneva are not attending meetings related to this issue or engaging in the debate. Assistant United States Trade Representative for Africa Rosa Whitaker4 1. INTRODUCTION Had the antiglobalisation forces been given free rein to...

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