ASH Review: Second Quarter Edition 2013
In May, the 17th round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was held in Lima, Peru. ASH representative Eduardo Bianco travelled to Lima to meet with delegates and educate them on the urgency of the tobacco issue. Once again, the U.S. failed to propose its draft tobacco exception, which was promised over a year ago. Although there are still several outstanding issues to debate in the TPP, the 12 countries involved hope to conclude the treaty this fall, so time is running out.
One piece of good news – the Senate approved Michael Froman as the new United States Trade Representative (USTR), to replace the outgoing Ron Kirk. While little is known about Froman’s stance on tobacco, he has made some very pro-health statements, and in any case does not share Kirk’s background in working directly for the tobacco industry.
On July 8, new negotiations will begin on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the U.S. and the European Union. Once completed, TTIP will be the largest trading bloc in the world, dwarfing NAFTA. Like the TPP, it is expected that TTIP will include the right for tobacco companies to directly sue local, state and national governments over tobacco control laws. Also like TPP, the TTIP negotiations will be highly secretive, with even Members of Congress restricted from seeing the draft text.
ASH’s Chris Bostic testified before the USTR on May 29th, urging the U.S. to exclude tobacco products from the treaty’s investor protections and tariff reductions.
Without unique treatment for tobacco, both of these treaties threaten to undermine advances in the war on tobacco here at home and around the world. Support ASH in our trade initiative by donating today and learn more about tobacco and trade>