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US-China Spat May Spoil Global Deal for a Vaccine-Patent Waiver

May 16, 2022, 1:16 PM

A brewing trade fight between the US and China may unravel a nearly two-year effort to ease intellectual-property rules for producing Covid-19 vaccines and cast further doubt on the World Trade Organization’s reputation as a negotiating forum.

US President Joe Biden’s top trade official in Geneva said any WTO agreement related to Covid-19 vaccines must explicitly exclude China from being able to benefit from the deal.

“The second-largest economy in the world, which has Covid vaccines and mRNA technology, doesn’t need the waiver,” Deputy US Trade Representative Maria Pagan told Bloomberg News in an interview. “What we want ...