Clete Willems Quoted by POLITICO on MC12 Topics

POLITICO has quoted Akin Gump public law and policy partner Clete Willems in its article “WTO still fishing for a deal as ministerial meeting nears.” The article, as part of the publication’s Weekly Trade series, covers a variety of topics with regard to the upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12).

According to the publication, Colombia’s World Trade Organization Ambassador presented a new draft today regarding the U.N. Sustainable Developments Goals’ fishing subsidy negotiations. Among the challenges of finalizing the deal is India’s request exempt low-income countries from making any cuts. To this, Willems said, “As usual, India seems to be the impediment.”

Then, regarding intellectual property (IP) rights relating to vaccines, the publication noted that the Biden-Harris administration, while supporting an IP waiver for COVID-19 vaccines, has been fairly quiet regarding New Zealand Ambassador David Walker’s “trade and health” agreement that would cover tariffs on medical goods and export restrictions. Willems said, “That is an area where I would like to see more US leadership, where I do think they can be more forthcoming and actually get behind some of these ideas and sort of elaborate on some of their own. And I'm not sure when that's coming or if it's coming.”