New U.S. Proposal on Tobacco Regulation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership

August 22, 2013

                 New U.S. Proposal on Tobacco Regulation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership 

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today posted a fact sheet, available at USTR’s website here, outlining a new proposal related to the handling of tobacco regulation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. The United States plans to discuss this proposal in detail during the upcoming TPP negotiations in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei August 23-30. 

United States Trade Representative Michael Froman issued the following statement: 

“Developed following extensive consultations with Congress and with a wide range of American stakeholders – from health advocates to farmers, representing many views on whether and how to address tobacco-related health policy measures in a trade agreement – 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 – while remaining consistent with our trade policy objectives of negotiating a comprehensive agreement that does not create a precedent for excluding agricultural products. We will continue to keep our Congressional partners and stakeholders informed and involved as we negotiate this challenging and important issue with TPP partners, many of whom will be taking into account the same range of concerns.” 

Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Bill Corr issued the following statement: 

“HHS believes the proposed tobacco language in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiation will make a difference for tobacco control and public health efforts. 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. Recognizing these facts about tobacco through the TPP will represent an important step forward for public health in the international trade community.”