AAM weighs in on trade rep's USMCA testimony

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AAM weighs in on trade rep's USMCA testimony

By Sandra Levy - 06/23/2020

The Association for Accessible Medicines welcomed U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer’s commitment during his recent testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee that the free trade agreement currently being negotiated, including with the United Kingdom, will not contain a provision requiring 10-years of biologic exclusivity.

“USMCA’s pharmaceutical provisions effectively balance support for innovation with the encouragement of the competition that leads to lower prices and expanded access," said Jonathan Kimball, AAM vice president for Trade and International Affairs. “Ambassador Lighthizer’s commitment is an important step toward ensuring these provisions remain the template for all trade agreements going forward.”

As biosimilars continue to gain traction in the U.S. and globally, eliminating barriers to competition benefits patients with complex and chronic diseases who increasingly rely on these new medicines.

At the same time, AAM said that it is concerned about Ambassador Lighthizer’s expression of support for tariffs as a mechanism for encouraging production of pharmaceuticals in the United States.

“AAM fully supports an open trading system that ensures patients have access to necessary medicines and medical supplies," said Kimball. “As the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated, patient access to health care treatments can be threatened by national trade policies that put domestic interests ahead of the free flow of medicines and medical products. Minimizing tariff and no-tariff barriers is the best way to ensure the integrity of the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain, even as we work to expand domestic production of critical medicines.”

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