This website is no longer updated.

For up-to-date news on European trade policy please visit

In brief: US and EU agree on pharma deal – WTO TRIPs waiver for pharmaceuticals comes into force

The EU and US have finalised an agreement  among regulators today that mutually recognises each party’s ‘good manufacturing practices’ for pharmaceuticals. Pharma is also source of news at the WTO today.


The EU US agreement, initially part of the regulatory package of the now dormant Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement is an update to a EU US 1999 Mutual Recognition Agreement on the same topic. Its contents will be annexed to that initial pact.  The move is a final in a series of commercial measures agreed by the EU and the outgoing Barak Obama presidency in January 2017 covering beef and insurance.


How Washington will behave towards the EU from today onwards is not clear. President Donald Trump has issued an executive order today asking for the withdrawal of the Transpacific Partnership and will meet Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week regarding a renegotiation of NAFTA. There has been no formal statement from President Trump on the TTIP yet.


In other news from Geneva, a 2005 agreement to waive the WTO’s TRIPs agreement, so far extended annually, is now made permanent. The amendment to the 1994 intellectual property protection pact empowers intellectual importing developing countries facing public health problems and lacking the capacity to produce drugs generically to seek such medicines from third country producers under “compulsory licensing” arrangements. The ratification process has taken more than a decade. Yet the required 110 WTO members have now endorsed the deal, allowing it to come into force for good.