The American group Defenders of Property Rights (DPR) today called on the Office of the United States Trade Representative to prevent what they call Brazil’s theft of U.S. drug patents and to consider sanctions against President Lula’s government as an option during a press conference at the National Press Club.
Joined by a number of free market and advocacy groups and in the wake of a unanimous vote by Brazil’s lower house in favor of breaking U.S. patents on a variety of U.S.-manufactured drugs, DPR renewed requests to U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman to take a hard line with Brazil when it comes to protecting American intellectual property rights.
USTR estimates that total losses for American business is approaching $1 billion annually.
In recent weeks, Brazil, one of America’s largest trading partners, has loudly proclaimed that it intends to violate the patents of several AIDS medications manufactured in the U.S.
President Lula of Brazil has stated that this move is needed because of a “health emergency” as defined under a wide ranging trade agreement known as the TRIPS Treaty.
“Brazil is set to break the patents on American drugs that have taken years of research and millions of dollars to develop,” said Nancie Marzulla, president of Defenders of Property Rights.
“This state-sponsored piracy must be stopped. If negotiations fail to convince Brazil to back down, the U.S. Trade Representative should consider sanctions as a serious possibility.”
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