December 5, 2013

Ambassador Michael Froman

Office of the United States Trade Representative
600 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20508

Dear Ambassador Froman:

We seek your explicit commitment that the U.S. will not propose or agree to any provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) that would undermine the domestic sovereign rights of participating countries to adopt or maintain measures to reduce tobacco use and to prevent the harm it causes to public health.

We call your attention to the compelling body of statements by major medical, public health, and public interest organizations in the United States, listed below, that consistently call on the U.S. to exercise leadership in the negotiations on the TPP to advance tobacco control measures that contribute to reducing the enormous burden of disease related to tobacco use, and prevent incursions by the tobacco industry against those measures.

We must remove tobacco control measures and tobacco products from trade agreements and assure that tobacco control measures will not be subject to challenge through the TPP and all future trade agreements. Malaysia, a TPP trading partner, has proposed carving out tobacco control measures, and tobacco products, from the agreement. This proposal, if accepted, would set a standard in trade law that would complement the global consensus on fighting the tobacco epidemic enshrined in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, to which all TPP countries are signatories.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death, claiming over 6 million lives a year. Past trade agreements have provided opportunities for multinational tobacco corporations to make cigarettes cheaper, to launch massive marketing campaigns, and to challenge public health measures such as a U.S. ban on clove cigarettes, and plain packaging. The U.S. must lead the way towards policies that protect and improve the public’s health.




Ellen R. Shaffer, PhD MPH, Joseph E. Brenner, MA Laurent Huber, MSFD

Co-Directors Executive Director
Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health (CPATH) Action on Smoking and Health


Full packet and individual letters posted below, or go to:


Organizations cited

Action on Smoking and Health

Alameda Health Commission

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Academy of Pediatrics, California Chapter 1

American Cancer Society – Cancer Action Network

American College of Physicians

American College of Preventive Medicine

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

American Heart Association, American Stroke Association

American Medical Association

American Medical Students Association

American Public Health Association

American Society of Addiction Medicine

American Society of Clinical Oncology

Association of State and Territorial Health Organizations

Boston Women’s Health Book Collective/Our Bodies


California Conference of Local Health Officers (CCLHO)

California Public Health Association-North

Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health (CPATH)

Corporate Accountability International

Health Officers Association of California

Human Rights and Tobacco Control Network

International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer

Maine Citizen Trade Policy Commission

Physicians for Social Responsibility

Prevention Institute

Public Health Institute

San Francisco Medical Society

San Francisco Tobacco Free Coalition

Society of Thoracic Surgeons

Vermont Commission on International Trade and State