Political briefs – July 28


PORTMAN STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF CIVIL RIGHTS ADVOCATE AMOS LYNCH – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) released the following statement on the passing of Columbus civil rights advocate Amos Lynch:

“Columbus and our state lost a true leader today. Known as the godfather of Columbus’ African American community, Amos Lynch dedicated his life to lifting up others and advocating for civil rights. To his family and the many people whose lives he touched, Jane and I offer our condolences and prayers.”

IN ADVANCE OF LATEST ROUND OF TPP NEGOTIATIONS, SEN. BROWN RAISES CONCERNS OVER INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CHAPTER AND ACCESS TO MEDICINES – As negotiators work to finalize text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today urged U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to ensure that the TPP’s intellectual property standards promote public health objectives by protecting access to affordable medicines.

“As Ambassador Froman and others negotiate the final text of this sweeping trade agreement, they must ensure that the intellectual property chapter advances, not undermines, shared global health goals,” said Brown. “We can’t cater to the profit margins of pharmaceutical companies at the expense of the health of patients by pursuing a trade deal that limits access to drugs in TPP countries and impedes innovation. The final agreement must promote competition in order to advance medicine and lower drug costs both at home and abroad.”

Patent linkage, evergreening, and data exclusivity limit innovation and competition, and prevent new, potentially lifesaving drugs from entering the market. This lack of competition also drives up drug costs. In a letter to Ambassador Froman, Brown urged Froman to craft an intellectual property chapter that is consistent with U.S. law and ensures continued access to affordable medicines.

PORTMAN WELCOMES EXPANSION OF U.S. TRAINING MISSION IN UKRAINE – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), co-chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, released the following statement on the State Department’s announcement on the expansion of the U.S. military training mission in Ukraine to include frontline Ukrainian soldiers with the Ministry of Defense for the first time:

“While long overdue, I am pleased the Administration has decided to provide training for Ukrainian soldiers who are on the front lines of defending Ukraine’s sovereignty. I have long advocated for an expanded military training mission, both in public and in meetings with senior Administration officials, and welcome this much-needed change in policy. I hope this announcement signals a broader policy shift on U.S. military assistance to Ukraine and that the Administration will also authorize more advanced defensive equipment, including lethal assistance, to go along with the training.”

Under current Administration guidelines, the U.S. military has been forbidden to provide training for Ministry of Defense soldiers and have been restricted to training only Ukrainian National Guardsman operating under the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

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