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US legislators concerned about impact of trade deals on tobacco regulation

| January 16, 2014

Six members of the Iowa House and Senate have written to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and attorneys general in 22 other states, asking whether new international trade deals will affect the ability of states to legislate in the public interest—for instance in respect of tobacco.

According to a story in the Des Moines Register, the letter refers to deals being negotiated by the U.S. trade representative, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is intended to enhance trade and investment in the nine participating countries.

Thirty-seven legislators from other states have also signed the letter, which they said seeks insight into agreements they believe are being developed in a shroud of secrecy. The letter is addressed also to the National Association of Attorneys General.

One of the Iowa signatories, Chuck Isenhart said he had concerns whether Iowa’s continued support for the biofuels industry could come under outside attack under provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In addition, questions had been raised about the defensibility of tobacco prevention policies and consumer protections, he said.

Geoff Greenwood, a spokesman for Miller, said Miller shared concerns about how the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement could, for example, impact Iowa’s ability to regulate tobacco products. “We will review the concerns that several state legislators have brought to our attention, and we look forward to discussing them,” he said.

Category: Breaking News

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