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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 can be negotiated — there are some areas of particular sensitivity or concern. But overall, the principle that we should make sure that U.S. companies, when they invest or export to other countries, are abiding with their safety rules but that those public health and safety rules are not being discriminatorily applied or a ruse in order to keep us out. That should be something everybody is in favor of.

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