Cablegate: Roxas Agrees to Resolve Some Ipr Concerns with His Bill
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #4940 3450325
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 110325Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4214
INFO RUEHZS/ASEAN COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS MANILA 004940
DEPT FOR EAP/EX AND EAP/MTS
STATE PASS USTR DKATZ
STATE PASS USAID
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KIPR ETRD ECON RP
SUBJECT: Roxas Agrees to Resolve Some IPR Concerns With His Bill
Reftel: 05 Manila 05447
1. Summary: Philippine legislators have agreed to resolve U.S.
concerns with one provision of proposed pharmaceutical legislation
which would have violated TRIPS. End summary.
2. EconCouns followed up on the visit by USTR Director for
Southeast Asian and Pacific Affairs David Katz (septel) by meeting
separately with Congressman Junie Cua and Senator Manuel Roxas on
November 22 to lobby for the removal of provisions in proposed
legislation which would violate the TRIPS obligations of the
Philippines. Cua and Roxas are the sponsors of the legislation in
the House of Representatives and the Senate (respectively) which is
targeted at reducing the prices of pharmaceuticals in the
Philippines. This legislation is generally expected to pass the
Philippine Congress over the next few weeks.
3. EconCouns noted to both Cua and Roxas that the U.S. has
identified two provisions of the proposed legislation which are of
concern. He passed to both copies of the interagency-cleared
non-paper identifying specific language changes which would resolve
both the data exclusivity and the new use issues raised by the
legislation (both had previously received copies of the non-paper).
He argued that while the Philippines has every right to take actions
to benefit the health and economic circumstances of its population,
those actions must respect the obligations the country has signed
onto and the rights of the holders of patents.
4. Both Cua and Roxas spent time reviewing the language changes
word-by-word with EconCouns. Both agreed that the current wording
of the data exclusivity provision of the legislation is overly
broad. Roxas promised to resolve the problem in the Senate version
and to provide us with the new language. Cua undertook to consult
with Roxas and others on changing the language of the House
5. Their responses on "new use patents" were less helpful. Both
noted that the concept is very controversial internationally. They
said that they did not agree that this provision would violate
TRIPS, and they could not agree to remove it from the legislation.
Cua noted that India's new patent legislation does not protect new
use patents, and asked rhetorically, "is the U.S. going to go to the
mat with India over this issue?"
6. Cua called EconCouns urgently on December 4 to request another
copy of the non-paper. He said he was discussing the data
exclusivity issue with House members, and they had reached consensus
to change the language. He wanted to see again our recommended
changes to explore whether they would be acceptable. Cua called
again on December 8. He reported that the House Committee on Trade,
which he presides, had amended the legislation partially resolving
our concerns on data exclusivity. Unfortuantly, he said, time
concerns related to the current debate of a possible constitutional
assembly had cut short consideration of the bill. Nonetheless, he
expected to see our concerns with data exclusivity completely
resolved via committee-sponsored amendment on the floor.
7. Comment: Although we would have liked to see the new use
language changed, as well, it is clear that Philippine legislators
will not be induced to do so. Nonetheless, we believe resolution of
the data exclusivity issue brings this legislation a long way toward
acceptability. We will continue to work with legislators to ensure
that new language on this point is acceptable, and will continue to
provide language to Washington agencies for their review as soon as
it becomes available.
8. We have added new information and comments to Intellipedia
biographical pages on both Manuel Roxas
(http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Manuel_Roxa s) and Junie Cua
(http://ww w.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Junie_Evangelista_Cu a).