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US-China Fight May Spoil Global Deal for a Covid Vaccine-Patent Waiver

  • US seeks explicit exclusion of China from WTO vaccine waiver
  • China’s offer to opt out is not sufficient, US diplomat says
A lab technician checks Covid-19 vaccines in Beijing.

A lab technician checks Covid-19 vaccines in Beijing.

Photographer: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Updated on

A brewing trade fight between the US and China may unravel a nearly two-year effort to ease intellectual-property rules for producing Covid-19 vaccines and cast further doubt on the World Trade Organization’s reputation as a negotiating forum.

US President Joe Biden’s top trade official in Geneva said any WTO agreement related to Covid-19 vaccines must explicitly exclude China from being able to benefit from the deal.