Plain Packaging for the Pacific Rim: The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Tobacco Control
Tania Voon (ed.), Trade Liberalisation and International Co-operation: A Legal Analysis of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, Cheltenham (UK) and Northampton (Mass.): Edward Elgar, 2013, 75-105
Posted: 16 Dec 2013
Date Written: December 16, 2013
Big Tobacco has been engaged in a dark, shadowy plot and conspiracy to hijack the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and undermine tobacco control measures – such as graphic health warnings and the plain packaging of tobacco products... In the context of this heavy lobbying by Big Tobacco and its proxies, this chapter provides an analysis of the debate over trade, tobacco, and the TPP. This discussion is necessarily focused on the negotiations of the free trade agreement – the shadowy conflicts before the finalisation of the text. This chapter contends that the trade negotiations threaten hard-won gains in public health – including international developments such as the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and domestic measures, such as graphic health warnings and the plain packaging of tobacco products. It maintains that there is a need for regional trade agreements to respect the primacy of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. There is a need both to provide for an open and transparent process regarding such trade negotiations, as well as a due and proper respect for public health in terms of substantive obligations. Part I focuses on the debate over the intellectual property chapter of the TPP, within the broader context of domestic litigation against Australia’s plain tobacco packaging regime and associated WTO disputes. Part II examines the investment chapter of the TPP, taking account of ongoing investment disputes concerning tobacco control and the declared approaches of Australia and New Zealand to investor-state dispute settlement. Part III looks at the discussion as to whether there should be specific text on tobacco control in the TPP, and, if so, what should be its nature and content. This chapter concludes that the plain packaging of tobacco products – and other best practices in tobacco control – should be adopted by members of the Pacific Rim.
Keywords: Trans-Pacific Partnership, Tobacco Control, Plain Packaging of Tobacco Products, Graphic Health Warnings, Investment, ISDS, Trade Mark Law, Intellectual Property, Trade
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