Compilation of Weekly Presidential Documents - May 15, 2000 - Letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein on signing an Executive Order on access to HIV/AIDS pharmaceuticals and medical technologies

Letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein on Signing an Executive Order on

Access to HIV/AIDS Pharmaceuticals and Medical Technologies



� May 10, 2000



� Dear Senator Feinstein:



� I am pleased to inform you that today I will sign an Executive

Order that is intended to help make HIV/AIDS-related drugs and

medical technologies more accessible and of fordable in beneficiary

sub-Saharan African countries. The Executive Order, which is based

in large part on your work in connection with the proposed Trade and

Development Act of 2000, formalizes U.S. government policy in this

area. It also directs other steps to be taken to address the spread

of HIV and AIDS in Africa, one of the worst health crises the world




� As you know, the worldwide HIV/AIDS epidemic has taken a terrible

toll in terms of human suffering. Nowhere has the suf fering been as

great as in Africa, where over 5,500 people per day are dying from

AIDS. Approximately 34 million people in sub-Saharan Africa have

been infected and, of those infected, approximately 11.5 million

have died. These deaths represent more than 80 percent of the total

HIV/AIDS-related deaths worldwide.



� To help those countries most affected by HIV/AIDS fight this

terrible disease, the Executive Order directs the U.S. Government to

refrain from seeking, through negotiation or otherwise, the

revocation or revision of any law or policy imposed by a beneficiary

sub-Saharan government that promotes access to HIV/AIDS

pharmaceuticals and medical technologies. This order will give

subSaharan governments the flexibility to bring life saving drugs

and medical technologies to affected populations. At the same time,

the order ensures that fundamental intellectual property rights of

U.S. businesses and inventors are protected by requiring sub-Saharan

governments to provide adequate and effective intellectual property

protection consistent with World Trade Organization rules. In this

way, the order strikes a proper balance between the need to enable

sub-Saharan governments to increase access to HIV/ AIDS

pharmaceuticals and medical technologies and the need to ensure that

intellectual property is protected.



� I know that you preferred that this policy be included in the

Conference Report on the Trade and Development Act of 2000, as did

I. However, through this Executive Order, the policy this

Administration has pursued with your support will be implemented by

the U.S. Government. The Executive Order will encourage beneficiary

sub-Saharan African countries to build a better infrastructure to

fight diseases like HIV/AIDS as they build better lives for their

people. At the same time, the Trade and Development Act of 2000 will

strengthen African economies, enhance African democracy, and expand

U.S.African trade. Together, these steps will enable the United

States to forge closer ties with our African allies, broaden export

opportunities for our workers and businesses, and promote our values

around the world.



� Thank you for your leadership on this critically important issue.



� Sincerely,



� William J. Clinton



� NOTE: An original was not available for verification of the content

of this letter.



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