DINGELL TRADE HEARINGS WILL REVIEW DRUG PATENT PROTECTION
DINGELL TRADE HEARINGS WILL REVIEW DRUG PATENT PROTECTION afforded U.S. pharmaceutical companies by foreign trading partners. The hearings are set for March 1-2 by the House Energy Commerce/Oversight Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Dingell (D-Mich.). The Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PMA) is scheduled to appear during the first day of the hearings as part of a panel on export problems. The panel will address barriers to product entry into foreign countries as well as intellectual property rights violations. The Motion Picture Association was also invited to testify. A second panel testifying March 1 will address unfair import practices such as counterfeiting. PMA President Mossinghoff is expected to include in his testimony a list of trading partners who have violated the intellectual property rights of U.S. drug companies. The association said Brazil and India head up the list. On the second day of the hearings, recently appointed U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Carla Hills has been invited to outline her plans for the implementation of the Trade Act, including the recently revised Section 301. Through revisions in the Trade Act enacted by Congress last year, 301 has been beefed up to provide additional protection against particularly egregious offenses by trading partners. Under what is now known as "super 301," the USTR is directed to develop by this spring a comprehensive list of countries that are not trading fairly with the U.S. The USTR would then begin negotiations with those countries, and, if the alleged trading inequities are not resolved within a specified period of time, impose appropriate sanctions. PMA's list of countries has already been forwarded to the Office of the USTR. The hearings are designed to lay the groundwork for the subcommittee to monitor the implementation of the Trade Act. Similar hearings are scheduled for March 1 and April 19 in the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Sen. Bentsen (D-Texas). PMA is planning to submit the same testimony in writing to Bentsen's committee. Hills will testify March 1. In a press release announcing the hearings, Bentsen said his committee "will vigorously oversee implementation of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988." He added that "the new Trade Act sets some specific requirements on the new Administration with regard to trade policy, and we have reason to be concerned these requirements may not be fully implemented on time." As examples, the senator cited recent news reports that the White House has taken too long to write rules enforcing a ban on goods from Toshiba of Japan, and that Japan plans to lobby for less than full enforcement of Section 301.(ITEM 200)#050928M001J59307# #970804M001XFCWP5# (ITEM 201)(COPYRIGHT) 1989 F-D-C Reports, Inc., The Pink Sheet, February 20, 1989
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