Notice: amp_is_available was called incorrectly. `amp_is_available()` (or `amp_is_request()`, formerly `is_amp_endpoint()`) was called too early and so it will not work properly. WordPress is currently doing the `pre_get_posts` hook. Calling this function before the `wp` action means it will not have access to `WP_Query` and the queried object to determine if it is an AMP response, thus neither the `amp_skip_post()` filter nor the AMP enabled toggle will be considered. It appears the theme with slug `publisher` is responsible; please contact the author. Please see Debugging in WordPress for more information. (This message was added in version 2.0.0.) in /home/runcloud/webapps/techilive/wp-includes/functions.php on line 5313
APEC ministers pledge to expedite transit of COVID-19 vaccines, related goods - BusinessWorld - TechiLive.in

APEC ministers pledge to expedite transit of COVID-19 vaccines, related goods – BusinessWorld

0

REUTERS

MELBOURNE/WASHINGTON – Ministers from the Asia-Pacific trade group APEC on Saturday agreed to review trade barriers and expedite the cross-border transit of COVID-19 vaccines and related goods, but stopped short of a broad commitment to remove tariffs.

A meeting of trade ministers from the 21-economy group, which includes the United States, China and Japan, also produced pledges to support World Trade Organization negotiations for an intellectual property waiver on COVID-19 vaccines.

In three statements issued after the meeting, the ministers said they would “expedite the flow and transit of all COVID-19 vaccines and related goods through their air, sea and land ports.”

Loading...

“We will consider voluntary actions to reduce the cost of these products for our people, particularly by encouraging each economy to review its own charges levied at the border on COVID-19 vaccines and related goods,” one statement said.

The ministers also said they were committed to work to facilitate the movement of essential goods and minimize disruptions to networks critical to keeping supply chains operating smoothly.

“APEC economies should prioritise identifying unnecessary barriers to trade in any relevant services that may hinder expediting and facilitating the movement of essential goods, and should ensure consistency of any such barriers with their World Trade Organization” obligations, the statement said.

Loading...

BEST PRACTICES
Vaccine-related trade barriers, including export restrictions, tariffs and other import barriers, have been viewed as contributing to a relative lack of vaccine access in developing countries.

Average APEC tariffs on vaccines are low at around 0.8%, but other goods important in the vaccine supply chain face higher tariffs. Alcohol solutions, freezing equipment, packaging and storage materials, vials and rubber stoppers face average tariffs above 5%, and tariffs can be as high as 30% in some APEC economies.

Prior to the start of the virtual meeting, host New Zealand had wanted APEC members to agree on “best practices guidelines” on the movement of vaccines and related medical products across borders, a person familiar with the talks told Reuters.

Loading...

APEC gatherings in recent years have struggled to reach agreements due to former U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade war with China. The new Biden administration has promised a more multilateral approach.

New Zealand viewed an agreement as important to show that APEC is responsive and relevant to the crisis facing the world.

VACCINE IP WAIVER
The ministers said they will work proactively and urgently in WTO negotiations aimed at agreeing on a temporary waiver of intellectual property rights on vaccines “as soon as possible” and no later than the WTO’s ministerial conference scheduled for the end of November.

Loading...

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, who last month announced her support for a waiver, told a news conference before the meeting that she was encouraged by progress of those talks.

“What I’ve heard from these few days of interaction with my fellow ministers from the APEC region is broadly an agreement that we need to increase access to vaccines, increase supply of vaccines,” Tai said.

New Zealand’s trade minister, Damien O’Connor, said there are a range of challenges around production and distribution of vaccines that can be addressed to improve supply around the world, but gaining patent waivers could still be an obstacle.

Loading...

“Having looked at all those challenges, if it is IP that is holding us back, I think that there will be consensus reached at the WTO. And I think as APEC economies, we certainly are going to ask for that to be considered seriously,” he said.

The APEC trade ministers also said the WTO needed to strengthen its credibility by concluding decades-long negotiations to curb harmful fisheries subsidies, with a “comprehensive and meaningful agreement” by July 31.

The group called on its member officials to explore options to undertake a “potential voluntary standstill on inefficient fossil fuel subsidies,” with a progress report expected in November.  — Reuters

Loading...

Stay connected with us on social media platform for instant update click here to join our  Twitter, & Facebook

We are now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TechiUpdate) and stay updated with the latest Technology headlines.

Loading...

For all the latest Education News Click Here 

 For the latest news and updates, follow us on Google News

Read original article here

Loading...
Denial of responsibility! TechiLive.in is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – admin@techilive.in. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment