National Health and WTO Rules − Focusing on the Study of the Blood Self-sufficiency Policy Promoted by Our Country

National Health and WTO Rules − Focusing on the Study of the Blood Self-sufficiency Policy Promoted by Our Country

 

 

Title
National Health and WTO Rules − Focusing on the Study of the Blood Self-sufficiency Policy Promoted by Our Country
Author
Kuei-Jung Ni Hsini-Yi Cheng
Keywords
WHO, blood self-sufficiency policy, WTO, GATT, national treatment principle, like product, asbestos case, necessity, doctrine of non-discrimination
Abstract
Blood-related products derive from living organisms. They refer to the
human blood based bio-active biotechnology products, which are manufactured
by purification steps. In 1975, the World Health Organization (WHO) of the
United Nations (U.N.) adopted a decision, recommending the alleged “blood selfsufficiency”
policy. Since then, some countries have endorsed such a policy and
incorporated it into their legislations. Taiwan is neither a member of the U.N., nor
of the WHO. Nevertheless, the government has been promoting the policy for
several years with a view to the preservation of public health and the conformity
with the global trend. Given the certain degree of the exclusion of foreign
products caused by the implementation of the policy, there seems to be a possible
conflict between the measure and the object of trade liberalization honored by the
World Trade Organization (WTO).
As a member of the WTO, we are, no doubt, bound by non-discrimination
principles, including, inter alia, national treatment, embodied in the institution.
There might be a concern regarding the potential breach of Taiwan’s obligation
under WTO rules if the blood self-sufficiency policy is in effect. But, the case law of the WTO has indicated its increasing tendency to recognize the legitimacy of
applying measures for pursuing public interests and policy, including the issue of
national health. As a result, WTO inclines to apply its rule in a more balanced and
flexible manner. The article will look into the practices of countries exercising the
policy. Then, by studying relevant WTO jurisprudence, especially on the analysis
of its precedence, it aims at clarifying whether our legislation and policy may be
compatible with WTO rules. Finally, some suggestions on the current policy and
legislation will be offered.
Abstract Article

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