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Nunes Bill Protects Patients Against Biden’s Dangerous Surrender of Medical Innovation

June 09, 2021

As President Biden moves forward with a surrender of American medical technology that would jeopardize patients’ health and undermine Americans’ efforts to develop cures for life-threatening diseases, top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Health Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) introduced The Protecting American Innovation Act.

The Protecting American Innovation Act affirms Congress’s authority over trade, protects American innovation, and increases global access to vaccines.

Rep. Nunes said: “The Biden Administration’s support for surrendering intellectual property protections for American-made COVID-19 vaccines serves only to harm Americans and help hostile foreign powers like Communist China. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a more self-defeating or unjust policy. President Biden is undermining the very incentives for innovation that are ending this pandemic and helping American families and workers resume their lives. To combat this reckless policy, I introduced The Protecting American Innovation Act to safeguard American innovation from the President’s unilateral forced technology transfer by affirming Congress’ authority over trade, including over any potential waiver of obligations under the TRIPS Agreement.”

The bill pushes back against the Biden Administration’s effort to surrender expensive American medical technology to foreign competitors. Allied nations and top health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have questioned President Biden’s move, noting that it would not result in greater access to vaccines for those in dire need.

Worse, the decision endangers American patients by discouraging the development of innovative new drugs. A waiver of intellectual property protections on COVID vaccines undermines the very incentives for innovation that are bringing this pandemic to an end. We should not be rewarding China’s aggressive industrial policies by giving away the same American technology that Chinese spies were charged with stealing last year.

Background on The Protecting American Innovation Act:

The Protecting American Innovation Act protects lives, puts Americans’ interests first, and ensures America’s ability to confront future health crises by protecting the innovation economy. Democrats have recently expressed support for defending Congress’s role in trade and innovation by supporting a similar amendment offered by Sen. Crapo, suggesting the potential for bipartisan consensus.

This bill…

  • …Affirms Congress’s authority over trade as laid out in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. This includes over any potential waiver of obligations under the TRIPS Agreement or other Congressionally-approved trade agreements. The Administration only has authority over particular aspects of international trade when delegated by Congress.
  • …Protects American innovation by ensuring that an entire industry’s work cannot be nationalized and hand it off to a foreign nation. We must not waive American intellectual property without robust analysis and consultation, as well as Congressional approval.
  • …Gives the American people a voice on the waiver by guaranteeing a congressional vote if and only if it (1) consults with Congress; (2) actually facilitates global vaccine access while not compromising U.S. national security—as the Administration’s own agencies determined; and (3) does not extend to Russia or China.
  • … Prioritizes increasing global access to vaccines, while avoiding the potentially devastating effects of President Biden’s approach of waiving intellectual property protections.