Washington, D.C. – Following a decision by the World Trade Organization to lift intellectual property protections for COVID-19 products, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:
“This damaging decision will undermine American innovation, competitiveness and technology leadership—weakening manufacturing in America and threatening the jobs of manufacturing workers. Even worse, the agreement could exacerbate the supply chain and logistical hurdles that represent the biggest current challenges to global efforts to ensure access to critical COVID-19 products.
“It is alarming and disappointing that the United States would join other countries to give away manufacturers’ innovations to our commercial rivals. Our industry has been on the front lines of efforts to fight COVID-19—developing, manufacturing and distributing vaccines and other essential products needed to save lives and strengthen our economy. American innovation has been at the heart of the manufacturing response to the pandemic and will be just as critical for our ability to lead the world and respond to future global health crises.
“Manufacturers have been vocal supporters of effective solutions at the WTO that leverage trade to fight the pandemic—but this waiver is not one of them. Manufacturers call on the Biden administration to reverse course on this decision and take immediate action to protect this vital technology, American workers and global health.”
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 12.7 million men and women, contributes $2.71 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.