Tobacco control measures should be excluded from the scope of all chapters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), according to a report published in the BMJ Publishing Group journal, Tobacco Control.
The TPPA, an agreement aimed at facilitating international trade and investment, is being negotiated by 12 countries of APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation).
In an abstract of their report, the authors, Deborah K Sy and Robert K Stumberg of the Harrison Institute, Georgetown University, Washington DC, US, said the TPPA would grant the same trade benefits and legal protections to tobacco products, services and investments as it would grant to other sectors.
Sy and Stumberg said that in the absence of a complete TPPA text, their analysis had been based on specific leaked chapters, legal analysis from observers in the negotiations, existing free trade agreements among the TPPA parties and positions of the tobacco industry and its allies.
They found that five TPPA chapters posed the most significant threats to tobacco control measures: Investment, Regulatory Coherence, Services, Intellectual Property and Technical Barriers to Trade.
And they concluded that the trade negotiators should expand safeguards to ensure that the TPPA did no harm. ‘The most effective would be to exclude (carve out) tobacco control measures from the scope of all TPPA chapters, as Malaysia has proposed,’ they said.