Philip Morris International today welcomed the decision by a World Bank arbitration tribunal to hear a claim that Uruguay violated multiple provisions of its bilateral investment treaty (BIT) with Switzerland.
“In order to attract foreign investment, Uruguay signed more than twenty BITs under which it made firm commitments to respect intellectual property rights and the rule of law,” said a note posted on PMI’s website. “At issue in this case are extreme and unnecessary restrictions imposed on the sale and packaging of tobacco products that conflict with Uruguay’s obligations under the treaty.”
“This ruling holds Uruguay accountable to its international obligations, accountability the country sought to avoid in domestic courts and again before this tribunal,” said PMI spokesperson Julie Soderlund.
“The measures unjustifiably restrict legitimate businesses from selling their products and using their trademarks while increasing incentives for black-market cigarettes, which already amount to a quarter of all tobacco products consumed in the country.
“We look forward to a full and independent assessment of these arbitrary and unnecessary regulations.”
Category: Breaking News