To address public health concerns, the Trans-Pacific Partnership has proposed a regulation for trade in tobacco.
“This proposal will, for the first time in a trade agreement, address specifically the public health issues surrounding tobacco — preserving the ability of the United States and other TPP countries to regulate tobacco and to apply appropriate public health measures, and bringing health and trade officials together if tobacco-related issues arise,” U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said in a statement.
The United States plans to discuss this proposal in detail during the upcoming TPP negotiations in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, Aug. 23-30.
“The U.S. government seeks to include this language because tobacco is a unique product; it is highly addictive, always harmful to human health, and the single most preventable cause of death in the world,” added Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Bill Corr. “Recognizing these facts about tobacco through the TPP will represent an important step forward for public health in the international trade community.”
TPP members include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Japan is currently under consideration to join the trade pact negotiations. - Chris Gillis