Oct 25, 1988


GENEVA OCTOBER 24 (IFDA/CHAKRAVARTHI RAGHAVAN)The United States action last week in imposing unilaterally and illegally 100 percent tariffs on range of imports from Brazil valued at an annual average 40 billion dollars is reported to have been strongly criticised at last week's meeting of the Uruguay round negotiating group on trade-related intellectual property rights (TRIPS).

The U.S. action was announced in Washington last week, after Brazil had refused to yield to U.S. demands for change in Brazil's intellectual property laws and regulations, which are in conformity with the Paris union conventions on patents and trade marks.

At the meeting of the group friday, the Brazilian delegate, Mrs Renata Stille, is reported to have said that this kind of action "seriously inhibits Brazilian participation in this negotiating group as no country can be expected to negotiate when suffering from pressure on the substance of its position".

Mrs Stille reportedly said that the substance of the issues raised by the U.S. actions would be taken up by her delegation in the appropriate GATT bodies.

However, she underscored that the U.S. actions were a violation of the standstill commitments entered into by the United States at Punta del Este.

Under the declaration, the U.S. committed itself, among other things, "not to take any trade measures in "such a titanner as to improve its negotiating position".

The United States would appear to have responded to Brazil in the TRIPS group by merely citing from the statement issued in Washington on thursday by the U.S. trade representative, Clayton Yeutter, that the U.S. regretted taking the action against Brazil which the U.S. regarded as a friend.

A number of third world countries reportedly spoke in support of Brazil and regretting the kind of action taken by the U.S., which could jeopardise the whole multilateral process.

These countries included India, Argentina, Cuba, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Yugoslavia.

India reportedly said that the very care of a multilateral approach meant that there would be no unilateral imposition of will on others. Such actions, as that of the U.S., undermined the credibility of the whole multilateral process.