I am deeply concerned about the situation in India and other countries hit hard by COVID-19, and I share the goal of getting safe, effective vaccines to as many people as quickly as possible. But the best way to help these countries is for the Biden administration to continue lifting its export restraints.
We will soon have a surplus of vaccines that we can export to redress the situation in multiple countries, and this does not require undermining American innovation or congressional authority. The administration failed to give serious attention to some vital U.S. interests when it announced its support for waiving the operation of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights to address the COVID-19 crisis. Regrettably, opportunists (including China and Russia) are thrilled at the prospect. And there is no evidence that this waiver will increase global vaccine production, but substantial evidence it could undermine it.
The TRIPS Agreement is