Dec 4, 2019

Biologics provision may be dropped from USMCA

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Mexico is considering a U.S. proposal to leave biologics protections out of the new trade deal between the two countries and Canada, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The change could help the trade agreement get across the finish line by garnering Democratic support, but it'd be a big loss for the pharmaceutical industry.

Details: The original trade pact, which was a renegotiation of NAFTA, would have given biologics 10 years of market exclusivity in each of the three countries — an extension of their monopoly period under current Mexican and Canadian law.

  • Including pharmaceutical industry protections in trade deals has been a Republican priority for years.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Trump may ease drug protections in USMCA to win Democratic support

Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration may loosen intellectual property protections for some prescription drugs in order to win Democratic support for its new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: The protections are a big win for U.S. drug companies, as they would extend the length of time that biologics can reap the benefits of monopoly pricing in those two other countries.

Go deeperArrowDec 3, 2019

Trump's fine with ditching USMCA prescription drug provision

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) was among the lawmakers who watched Game 5 of the World Series with President Trump in October. (Photo: Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

As they took in Game 5 of the World Series together, President Trump told House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy he doesn't want to fight for the most prominent prescription drug component of the administration's trade pact with Mexico and Canada — despite it being a key priority for Republicans.

Why it matters: The biologics provision has been one of the final sticking points keeping the USMCA from finalization, with Democrats fighting for it to be removed or watered down. But McCarthy has known for more than a month that Trump probably won't go to bat to keep it.

Go deeperArrowDec 10, 2019

Business groups express growing dissatisfaction with USMCA compromise

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal announce the USMCA compromise. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Fed chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday that the new U.S. trade deal with Mexico and Canada should remove some trade policy uncertainty, and that it's a positive factor for the economy.

Yes, but: However, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other groups have been registering their unhappiness with the trade deal in recent days.

Go deeperArrowDec 12, 2019