Monday, August 31, 2009

Brazil ready to break US drug patents

So this is why we signed up with the WTO? Not that I approve of subsidies for farmers when its not needed or helpful in any way. But how does this seem like equal trade from cotton farms to drugs?

Brazil is preparing to infringe patents on US pharmaceutical products, in retaliation against subsidies for US cotton farmers, according to the Brazilian press.

The World Trade Organisation is expected to rule on Monday that Brazil can contravene the drug patents, say the reports.

One option would be to raise import tariffs against US goods. But Brazil is a relatively small US market, taking $32bn out of $1,287bn of US exports last year.

Instead it is preparing to take action over intellectual property, an area of much greater significance to the US. The WTO is expected to include this possibility in its ruling on Monday. According to a report in a Brazilian newspaper the government has prepared a “provisional measure” – a presidential decree that takes immediate effect, although it must later be ratified by Congress – to allow Brazilian pharmaceuticals companies to copy medicines protected by US patents

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