Texas Association of Manufacturers Statement on World Trade Organization’s Proposed Intellectual Property Rights Waiver
March 28, 2022
The following statement can be attributed to Tony Bennett, President and CEO of the Texas Association of Manufacturers.
"Lifechanging discoveries are made, developed, and commercialized in the United States and Texas because of our strong culture of innovation and the recognition that safeguarding intellectual property rights leads to innovation across our economy. Any lapse in the protection of intellectual property could lead to long-term catastrophic results, and the Texas Association of Manufacturers remains concerned the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) repeated attempts to waive these protections could begin to weaken a fundamental principle of our economy.
"The extraordinary circumstances of the last two years have shown us the value of protecting the innovation ecosystem that allowed for the rapid development and dissemination of the COVID-19 vaccine. But rather than bolster those protections, the WTO is proposing the opposite. Furthering distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations is a noble and worthy goal and one that TAM actively supports. Yet there are numerous logistical and distribution challenges to getting those vaccines into the arms of the millions of people who still need them. We should focus our efforts on overcoming those clear obstacles rather than be distracted by calls to dangerously disrupt the very system that allowed for those vaccines to be developed.
"Any policy that would weaken intellectual property rights is one that would have long-term damaging impacts, not just on the pharmaceutical industry, but on all U.S. innovation, and across all manufacturing sectors. The Texas Association of Manufacturers stands in opposition to any policies that would erode these protections and severely limit our state’s ability to innovate, create, and continue to improve upon our quality of life."
The Texas Association of Manufacturers (TAM) actively represents the interests and priorities of more than 600 member companies in Austin and in Washington, D.C. Manufacturers in Texas account for 13.07 percent of the total output in the state – more than $241 billion in 2019 – and employ more than 881,000 Texans in jobs that pay an average compensation of over $90,100 annually. On average, each manufacturing job created also provides 5 additional jobs in our communities. For two decades, Texas remains the number one exporting state for manufactured goods in the United States. Follow TAM on Facebook and Twitter.