U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, who is leading closed-door negotiations concerning the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is pushing a proposal that would grant tobacco manufacturers the right to sue governments for passing laws aimed at protecting the public from tobacco, according to a Corporate Accountability International (CAI) report.
“Disturbingly—but not surprisingly—the U.S. trade representative has caved to Philip Morris International’s lobbying, promoting the tobacco industry’s interests over the public interest,” said CAI. “In particular, he is advancing a proposal that could enable Big Tobacco to sue countries implementing strong tobacco control measures, by claiming trade violations. If passed, the TPP will threaten governments’ sovereign rights to protect people from the tobacco industry’s deadly reach. It has the potential to turn back the clock on decades of hard-won progress secured through the global tobacco treaty [the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control].”
CAI is concerned not only with the influence exerted by tobacco interests. “The TPP is being driven by more than 600 lobbyists representing the interests of Big Business, including lobbyists for global tobacco associations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as well as for global corporations such as Monsanto [and] Wal-Mart,” it said. “As a result, the trade agreement will have devastating consequences for people around the Pacific Rim. For example, as it now stands, the TPP threatens to decrease people’s access to medicine, water down food-safety laws and undermine public health advances.”
The report is at http://www.stopcorporateabuse.org/blog/TPP.
Category: Breaking News