[Ip-health] How broad is the USTR mandate to respect Doha?

Chase Perfect chaseperfect at gmail.com
Mon Apr 4 09:23:21 PDT 2016

Hi everyone,

An observation/question:

Bollyky's recent Foreign Affairs article made mention of a Congressional
mandate that US trade negotiators should push to include IP provisions that
"reflect a standard
of protection similar to that found in United States law". However, upon
further review of said mandate, the 2015 Congressional guidelines for Trade
Promotion Authority (attached below) also instruct the USTR:

(C) to respect the Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement
and Public Health, adopted by the World Trade Organization
at the Fourth Ministerial Conference at Doha, Qatar
on November 14, 2001, and to ensure that trade agreements
foster innovation and promote access to medicines.


Even if amendments to the 1974 US Trade Bill do indeed allow for the
executive's unilateral sanctioning of trade partners on matters concerning
IP, it would seem this provision of the 2015 Trade Promotion Authority bill
should reign in aggression towards countries' use of CLs. Put another way,
would one say that the above provision is simply ignored by the USTR, or
that it's in fact not binding on the USTR's activity outside of
negotiations (e.g. in crafting the Special 301 Report)?

As a non-lawyer, perhaps I'm missing something that reconciles or
prioritizes mandates/actions that otherwise seem in conflict.  Or perhaps,
as I suspect, de jure considerations have been trumped by de facto
political factors of the process. Any insight from the group on this matter
would be much appreciated.


Chase Perfect

MA in International Relations* Johns Hopkins (SAIS)*
MsPH in International Health *Johns Hopkins (Bloomberg)*

More information about the Ip-health mailing list