NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons urged Biden administration officials to support innovative manufacturers and reject a dangerous proposal to waive intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and other products.
- Timmons’ call went out to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and senior White House officials.
The situation: Timmons’ advocacy comes in response to a World Trade Organization proposal that would waive IP rights for a broad range of COVID-19 products, putting American innovation and jobs at risk.
- As this goes to press, the U.S. and other countries are actively negotiating potential text ahead of the WTO’s forthcoming ministerial conference that kicks off this Sunday.
The issue: IP rights have been crucial in supporting American innovation and manufacturing during the pandemic. They have incentivized the rapid development of vaccines, COVID-19 therapeutics, personal protective equipment and other essential products and created the legal certainty for hundreds of innovative partnerships to ramp up their production.
The challenge: The controversial WTO proposal is rooted in the false premise that global vaccination efforts are lagging due to a lack of supply.
- “The primary challenge to global COVID-19 vaccination is not supply, but distribution and demand,” said Timmons.
- Facilitating global COVID-19 vaccination will take solving supply chain bottlenecks and logistical challenges while improving the ability of local health systems to deliver the vaccines and effective treatment.
The way forward: Instead of the waiver, the U.S. should push for creative efforts to fight COVID-19, including building consensus for the Trade in Health Initiative, working with like-minded countries to develop practical innovations that leverage increased trade and targeting WTO-identified trade bottlenecks.
- “The NAM and its members stand ready to work with you and your agencies to advance solutions that will, once and for all, tackle this devastating pandemic,” said Timmons.
NAM in action: The NAM recently launched an advertising campaign in key states and districts on the issue, urging the administration to protect American jobs and innovation.
Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the midterm elections, the National Association of Manufacturers released its policy roadmap, “Competing to Win,” a comprehensive blueprint featuring immediate solutions for bolstering manufacturers’ competitiveness. It is also a roadmap for policymakers on the laws and regulations needed to strengthen the manufacturing industry in the months and years ahead.
With the country facing rising prices, snarled supply chains and geopolitical turmoil, manufacturers are outlining an actionable competitiveness agenda that Americans across the political spectrum can support. “Competing to Win” includes the policies manufacturers in America will need in place to continue driving the country forward.
“‘Competing to Win’ offers a path for bringing our country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The NAM is putting forward a plan filled with ideas that policymakers could pursue immediately, including solutions to urgent problems, such as energy security, immigration reform, supply chain disruptions, the ongoing workforce shortage and more. Manufacturers have shown incredible resilience through difficult times, employing more workers now than before the pandemic, but continued resilience is not guaranteed without the policies that are critical to the state of manufacturing in America.”
The NAM and its members will leverage “Competing to Win” to shape policy debates ahead of the midterm elections, in the remainder of the 117th Congress and at the start of the 118th Congress—including in direct engagement with lawmakers, for grassroots activity, across traditional and digital media and through events in key states and districts as we did following the initial rollout of the roadmap in 2016.
The document focuses on 12 areas of action, and all policies are rooted in the values that have made America exceptional and keep manufacturing strong: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.
Learn more about how manufacturers are leading and about the industry’s competitiveness agenda at nam.org/competing-to-win.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org