From remarks by U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky in Seattle Wednesday:
There are two initiatives that are somewhat separate from the WTO proceedings which the president announced today. One has to do with increased market access for the least-developed countries--that is, the poorest countries, the largest concentration of which, as you know, is in sub-Saharan Africa. . . . The United States will commit to enhanced and preferential market access for imports from the least-developed countries and in addition will promote very substantial technical assistance and capacity building functions. And to that end . . . the president is meeting as we speak with the heads of the multilateral institutions like the World Bank, the IMF and others. . . .
The second initiative . . . has to do with HIV/AIDS and intellectual property rights. There has been a growing concern among poor countries which are facing a health crisis emergency, particularly in respect to HIV/AIDS, with respect to the availability and affordability of medicines, AZT being an example. We faced the question of the intersection between health policy and intellectual property rights protection with respect to South Africa and, in particular, with respect to the HIV/AIDS crisis in South Africa. And in that case, we found a means to ensure that the minimal requirements of WTO agreements in this area could be met while providing flexibility for South Africa to ensure the more ready availability of lower-priced medicine.