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World Trade Referee’s Rebirth Descends Into a Fight for Survival

  • WTO delays key conference amid outbreak of new virus variant
  • Postponement may prevent a 2021 vaccine waiver agreement

The World Trade Organization’s decision last week to postpone a critical meeting throws into question efforts to rehabilitate the alliance that’s been battered by years of neglect, trade wars and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The most immediate concern was the ability of the Geneva-based organization to conclude a global agreement this year to expand access to vaccines and, potentially, to waive intellectual property rights for life-saving drugs.