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Opposition to multilateral rules under Trips Agreement

Feb '07
New Delhi:

Framing of multilateral rules for enforcement of patents and data protection laws under Trips Agreement by the US is being opposed by China and India.

Trips Agreement allow individual countries to select their methods to enforce according to their capacities, hence this flexibility should not be withdrawn, the countries said.

The US forced developing countries including India to agree to Trips Agreement in the Uruguay Round, but its latest attempt to make uniform rules to enforce Trips agreement in the on-going Doha round will not succeed, sources said.

China objected to the US proposal to make enforcement of Trips part of the agenda in recent Trips Council meet. India firmly backed China's claim along with Argentina, Cuba, South Africa and Brazil.

The US expressed concern in Tripps council meeting of Geneva over increased flow of counterfeit goods in its markets with counterfeit footwear rising from 10 percent in fiscal 2005 to 41 percent in 2006, and value of seized goods from $93 million to $155 million.

The US suggested that uniform enforcement rules should be established to check inflow of counterfeits for all countries under WTO regime.

China, India and others opposed the US move on the grounds that Trips Agreement gives countries the right to choose how to implement and enforce its provisions, and so enforcement cannot be considered separately from other provisions, including those on non-discrimination and avoid creating trade barriers.

The US was supported by Canada, El Salvador, New Zealand, Australia, the EU, Japan and Switzerland.

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