Question: COVID-19 and WTO

The Australian Greens MPs

Senator FARUQI

(New South Wales) (14:19): My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Senator Cash. Globally, thousands are dying from COVID-19 each day because they don’t have treatment or vaccines. At the same time, majority-white Western countries like ours are hoarding vaccines and ordering more than they will ever need. The TRIPS waiver proposal to the World Trade Organization would temporarily lift intellectual property restrictions so poorer countries can manufacture vital vaccines, medicines, masks and ventilators. But, since October, the Liberal-National government has ignored the pleas of more than 100 countries for our support. Australia has stonewalled and advocated against the waiver, putting profit ahead of the lives of people who look like me in countries that you don’t give a damn about. Why won’t the government give its unequivocal support to the TRIPS waiver?

Senator CASH

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