Many in the U.S. presidential team want him to waive vaccine intellectual property protection so that they can be copied.
Catherine, the U.S. trade representative, said more vaccines were needed worldwide to strengthen the coronavirus epidemic and boost economic recovery.
Speaking at a conference of the United States Council on Tuesday, he said the world had taken real steps to end the epidemic, but much work remained to be done.
“This includes making vaccines more widely available and addressing global disparities in vaccine access,” he said. “It’s not just about public health needs. Our economic recovery depends on it.
At a meeting of the WTO General Council later this week, Taiwan will discuss developing countries’ demands for the waiver of intellectual property rights to the World Trade Organization (WTO) coronavirus vaccine.
He has met with the chief executives of large vaccine manufacturers in recent days to discuss the waiver proposal and ways to increase vaccine production and distribution.
On Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klein said he would begin discussions on “how we can make this vaccine more comprehensive, more licensed, more widely distributed,” with more to come in the coming days.
Most Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives and many liberal Democrat senators have called on President Joe Biden’s administration to support the intellectual property waiver of the vaccine, saying it would help save lives and give people priority over drug or agency profits.
The pharmaceuticals industry sees the proposed waiver as too broad and will set a precedent that would undermine the incentive to develop future vaccines.
Earl Blumener, a Democratic representative who heads the Wes and Mines trade subcommittee, told reporters that Tai and other U.S. officials are trying to develop a way forward and could help reassure the industry by narrowing the scope of the proposed waiver.
Representative Rosa Delauro told reporters that she spoke with Commerce Secretary Gina Raymondo on Wednesday morning and saw “some positive signs” that the Biden administration was committed to helping other countries in the current humanitarian crisis.
A dozen Republicans in the House of Representatives wrote to Tai on Tuesday urging him to continue opposing intellectual property waivers, arguing that it could not significantly improve vaccine availability.
Members of the House Judiciary Committee, led by senior Republican Darrell Issar, wrote,