Letter |

MSF comments on second draft of the FTAA-ALCA text

Ambassador Robert Zoellick
U.S. Trade Representative
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
Washington, DC 20508

Sent Via E-mail at [email protected]

Dear Ambassador Zoellick,

I am pleased to submit these comments to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on behalf of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontierès (MSF) in response to USTR’s Request for Public Comments on the Second Draft Consolidated Texts of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) Agreement. These comments focus entirely on the potential negative consequences of FTAA on access to essential medicines in developing countries in the Americas. MSF is deeply concerned that provisions in the FTAA Agreement related to intellectual property rights (IPRs) threaten to undermine the historic World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, resulting in devastating consequences in terms of access to medicines for millions of people in middle- and low-income countries in the Americas with HIV/AIDS and other neglected diseases.

We wish to reiterate our demand that USTR abandon “TRIPS-plus” negotiating objectives and negotiate FTAA in keeping with the spirit and letter of the Doha Declaration, which the U.S. committed to uphold in November 2001. In order to ensure that countries, including the U.S., uphold that commitment in good faith, we must recommend that intellectual property provisions be excluded from the final FTAA Agreement altogether.

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