As the Rule of Law Deteriorates in Ecuador

From an author who embraces the attack on property rights by the government of Rafael Correa, a news release, “Ecuador president Correa to override drug patents in order to provide affordable medication“:

(NaturalNews) The President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, announced Sunday that he planned to override a number of pharmaceutical patents in order to provide more affordable medicines to the People of Ecuador. In a statement, Correa explained that access to medicine is a “human right” and that he intends to seek “compulsory licenses” to acquire medications considered indispensible.

Under current World Trade Organization rules, countries have the right to seek such “compulsory licenses” that override traditional patent rights. Current WTO rules require that such countries negotiate with the patent owners to determine fair compensation.

This action by Correa joins Ecuador’s recent declaration that it would not honor the illegitimate debt that had been placed on the country by foreign banks (under previous administrations). This bold move allowed Ecuador to renegotiate its debt for roughly 30 cents on the dollar. Much of that debt was considered “predatory debt” by academics who understand the way the World Bank and other first-world banking interests attempt to place debt burdens on many smaller nations as a tactic for exerting long-term influence over their economies.

Right. And the Barbary Pirates had legitimate grievances against the United States, too.

See also the AP story, “Ecuador pres: National labs to ignore drug patents.”

Also, on September 25, major U.S. business groups sent a letter to the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways & Means Committee urging Congress not to reward Ecuador and Bolivia for undermining rule of law by renewing Andean trade preferences for those countries. The letter from Business Roundtable, Emergency Committee for American Trade, National Association of Manufacturer, National Foreign Trade Council, United States Council for International Business, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce is available here.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • luke weyland says:

    A handful of pharmaceutical firms control the lives of millions. These companies would rather have millions die unnecessarily early than losse a single dime in profits.

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