“This waiver is vital to ensuring sufficient volume of and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics around the world,” they wrote in the joint letter.

By Yashwant Raj, Rezaul H Laskar, Washington/new Delhi

UPDATED ON MAY 02, 2021 04:38 AM IST

At least 108 members of the US Congress wrote to President Joe Biden on Friday urging him to support a proposal, moved by India and South Africa at the WTO last year, seeking a temporary waiver of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for Covid-19 vaccines, therapeutics and related technologies.

“This waiver is vital to ensuring sufficient volume of and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics around the world,” they wrote in the joint letter.

Those who signed the letter include members of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Brad Sherman, who heads the India caucus; and Indian American Raja Krishnamoorthi.

Meanwhile, India and South Africa are preparing for a fresh push at the WTO for the waiver, people familiar with developments said on condition of anonymity on Saturday.

Diplomats of the two countries are working on revising the text of a proposal originally submitted by India and South Africa last October, though the success of the move will largely depend on the position adopted by the US and other developed nations.

“It is the same proposal though with a revised text,” the people said. The fresh proposal is expected to be presented to the WTO sometime in the next two weeks, they added.

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