[Ip-health] HuffPo: Stop Bullying the World's Poorest Countries

Matthew Kavanagh matthew at healthgap.org
Thu Jun 6 10:23:19 PDT 2013

Stop Bullying the World's Poorest Countries

This week, the Obama administration's trade agenda hit a bit of snag as the nominee to be lead trade negotiator was challenged over holding a half million dollars in offshore accounts. But as the President prepares to head for Africa this month, that's largely a distraction from a much bigger fight that should be more in the news: the U.S. bullying of least developed countries over intellectual property rules.

In a move that has been roundly criticized by everyone from Doctors Without Borders to the world's librarians and the U.S. technology industry, the Obama administration has taken the position that least developed countries must implement World Trade Organization rules on intellectual property within the next five years. Haiti, Bangladesh, Lestotho, and other Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have proposed an alternative: let the poorest countries in the world focus on getting medicines to their people, making textbooks available, and getting technologies to mitigate the effects of climate change instead of creating patent offices and enforcing the copyrights of multinational corporations. Their proposal simply suggests least developed countries should implement WTO rules when they are no longer officially "least developed." Remember these are the poorest countries in the world -- not rising powers like India or South Africa -- countries classified by the UN as facing the most dire poverty. But U.S. negotiators have rejected that and are strong-arming countries instead.

Keep reading: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-kavanagh/please-stop-bullying-the-_b_3391927.html

Sent from my mobile, please excuse typos and brevity...

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