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Tag Archives: Trade

Tobacco farmers are a pawn in the TPP game

But tobacco farmers are not part of the game Mitch McConnell and other pro-tobacco politicians have become very vocal over the past two weeks in their opposition to a potential partial tobacco exemption in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. And just as in so many other political debates, they are citing the plight of the… Read the full article >

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Will Trans-Pacific trade deal go up in smoke over anti-tobacco proposal?

Big Tobacco is pushing back against a strict anti-smoking provision in the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and has enlisted the support of the most powerful Republican in the Senate to help quash it. The ire of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other tobacco-state lawmakers could throw a wrench into the delicate negotiations to… Read the full article >

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McConnell warns Obama against tobacco carve-out in trade deal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is warning U.S. officials negotiating a massive trans-Pacific trade agreement for President Obama not to target tobacco growers in a final deal. McConnell said singling out the tobacco industry would set a dangerous precedent for future trade deals, in a letter to Obama’s top trade representative. The missive from… Read the full article >

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Australia has spent $50 million defending plain packaging in trade dispute.

Australia’s legal bill for defending its cigarette plain packaging legislation is set to hit $50 million as it battles to contain a case brought by tobacco giant Philip Morris before a tribunal in Singapore. And that is just for the first stage. If in September the three-person extraterritorial tribunal decides Australia has a case to answer, the hearing… Read the full article >

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Obama Can Help End Tobacco Epidemic, Says ASH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Megan Arendt Office: 202-659-4310 Email: arendtm@ash.org Obama Can Help End Tobacco Epidemic, Says ASH Action on Smoking & Health (ASH) Calls on President Obama to Choose Health Over Profits WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 24, 2015 – President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Froman have the opportunity to curb the tobacco… Read the full article >

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Tobacco Demonstrates Troubles for Trade Agreements

In 2012, Australia implemented tough anti-tobacco regulations, requiring that all cigarettes be sold in plain, logo-free brown packages dominated by health warnings. Philip Morris Asia filed suit, claiming that this violated its intellectual-property rights and would damage its investments. The company sued Australia in domestic court and lost. But it had another card to play. In… Read the full article >

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Ukraine drops WTO action against Australian tobacco-packaging laws

(Reuters) – Ukraine has suspended a case it was pursuing through the World Trade Organization aimed at overturning Australia’s strict tobacco packaging laws, a WTO panel of adjudicators said in a statement published on Wednesday. Ukraine asked the panel to suspend the proceedings on May 28 and said it will try to find a mutually… Read the full article >

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Trade Threats to Tobacco Control

ASH releases analysis of trade threats to U.S. domestic tobacco control policies.

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Leaked TPP investment chapter shows US tobacco control rules at risk

WASHINGTON — An ambitious 12-nation trade accord pushed by President Obama would allow foreign corporations to sue the United States government for actions that undermine their investment “expectations” and hurt their business, according to a classified document. Read more>

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ASH participates in the World Conference on Tobacco or Health 2015

This week, several representatives of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) will be attending the World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Abu Dhabi. WCTOH is a five-day scientific conference where presenters highlight the latest developments in tobacco control and the efforts around the world to reduce tobacco use.  This year, the conference theme is “Tobacco… Read the full article >

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Senator Warren calls Philip Morris on Abusive Trade Lawsuit.

By Senator Elizabeth Warren The United States is in the final stages of negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive free-trade agreement with Mexico, Canada, Japan, Singapore and seven other countries. Who will benefit from the TPP? American workers? Consumers? Small businesses? Taxpayers? Or the biggest multinational corporations in the world? One strong hint is… Read the full article >

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President Obama on Tobacco & Trade

Remarks by the President at Meeting of the Export Council December 11, 2014 The big bugaboo that’s lifted up there is tobacco companies suing poorer countries to make sure that anti-smoking legislation is banned, or at least tying them up with so much litigation that ultimately smaller countries cave. Those are issues that I think… Read the full article >

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Trade deals must not undermine fight against tobacco

Australian expertise in tobacco control is helping save lives around the world, but that work could be undone. Every day, 5500 children in India start using tobacco. If they continue the habit, as many do, the illnesses brought about by tobacco addiction will kill about half of them. In the meantime, Big Tobacco is allowed… Read the full article >

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Good Enough Isn’t.

An ISDS carve-out in the TPPA would be good for tobacco control, but not good enough. There has been some scuttlebutt in trade circles over the past weeks about a possible US proposal in the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations to exempt tobacco measures from the investment chapter. The effect would be to deny the… Read the full article >

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Two FCTC Parties emphasize trade over saving lives from tobacco

WTO members meeting as the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Council on 28–29 October 2014 responded to the latest developments on plain packaging for tobacco products, exchanged views on innovation, and heard about plans to make it easier to make sense of the huge amount of information they have shared with each other… Read the full article >

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Malaysia Defends Tobacco Control in TPP & FCTC

Almost 200 countries signed the World Health Organisation’s Tobacco Control Convention and are obliged to take measures to curb tobacco use. But the industry has hit back. A big tobacco company, Philip Morris, has taken Uruguay and Australia to tribunals under bilateral investment treaties, claiming billions of dollars in compensation for the two countries’ measures… Read the full article >

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U.S. floats cutting tobacco from part of Pacific trade pact -sources

By Krista Hughes WASHINGTON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – The United States has floated excluding tobacco products from a key section of a 12-nation Pacific trade deal and signaled it may present a formal proposal to trading partners at talks in Australia, sources briefed on the negotiations said. Dropping tobacco from the investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, section… Read the full article >

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McConnell seeks to protect tobacco industry in trade deal

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is pressing the Obama administration to protect his state’s tobacco industry in a trade deal. McConnell is pressuring U.S. negotiators to ensure that tobacco companies can take part in the dispute settlement portion of the trade deal, with talks scheduled next week on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact… Read the full article >

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USTR Informally Floats ISDS Tobacco Carveout With Some TPP Countries

U.S. trade officials have reached out to some other Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries to informally float the idea of excluding tobacco-related challenges from being brought under the deal’s investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism, according to informed sources. This move signals the United States may be ready to bring its position on this issue closer to… Read the full article >

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Stubbing Out the Tobacco Industry’s Abuse of Trade Agreements

The tobacco industry has a long history of flexing its muscles, namely in the area of investor protection schemes, against governments in the name of protecting its own market. TTIP is an opportunity to set a good example for 21st century trade agreements by, at the minimum, recognizing the unique dangers presented by the tobacco… Read the full article >

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Put public health on agenda of trade deal talks & ‘uncuff’ governments

Trade agreements are being used to “handcuff governments” over health policy, Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organisation said at its assembly. This was “disturbing” she went on, adding that trade agreements have many consequences for health. A nation’s health can be benefited by such deals, whether by increasing exports to foreign markets, bringing in… Read the full article >

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Facing the Wrong Way

The Chamber of Commerce is undercutting its trade agenda by supporting Big Tobacco. Since early in 2011, much of our attention here at ASH has been focused on the nexus between trade and tobacco, in particular on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). If you have followed this issue, you’ve seen the involvement of public health… Read the full article >

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President Obama’s smoking problem in Malaysia

Malaysia’s government is battling against a smoking epidemic that threatens its young people — and it fears Barack Obama’s big Pacific trade deal will make the health crisis even worse. Read the full Politico article here>

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45 State Attorneys General Call for Tobacco Carve Out in the TPP

January 27, 2014 Ambassador Michael Froman Office of the United States Trade Representative 600 17th Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20208 Dear Ambassador Froman: The undersigned Attorneys General write to request that the United States Trade Representative act to preserve the ability of state and local governments to regulate tobacco products to protect the public health.… Read the full article >

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US Reps. Waxman, Doggett, Capps and Over 50 Members Urge Administration to Strengthen Tobacco Proposal in TPP

33rd Congressional District of California Rep. Henry A. Waxman   For Immediate Release:  October 30, 2013 Karen Lightfoot (Waxman):  (202) 225-5735 Doug Molof (Doggett):  (202) 225-4865 Chris Meagher (Capps):  (202) 225-3601   Reps. Waxman, Doggett, Capps, and Over 50 Members Urge Administration to Strengthen Tobacco Proposal for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement   WASHINGTON, DC—Today Reps. Henry… Read the full article >

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