At yesterday’s TransPacific Partnership stakeholder event – a bit of political theater set up by the United States Trade Representative to demonstrate the “transparency” of the highly-secretive negotiations – negotiators from other countries eagerly sought us out to hear about how tobacco regulation is threatened by trade law. ASH’s Chris Bostic and Georgetown University law professor Robert Stumberg spoke to a standing-room-only audience about the risks and the opportunity to carve tobacco out from the historic free trade agreement.
The 14th round of TPP negotiations started on the 6th and will continue through the 15th in Leesburg, VA. The negotiations are closed-door and the draft text is kept secret, largely even from members of Congress. ASH has helped form a loose coalition of experts and advocates from the nine negotiating countries which has talked to negotiators over the past 14 months to press for the unique treatment of tobacco in the TPP.