[A2k] Australia backs anti-tobacco laws

Teresa Hackett (eIFL) teresa.hackett at eifl.net
Wed Aug 15 10:45:46 PDT 2012



The plain packaging rules do, however, still face a number of challenges under global trade rules.

Australia is already fighting trade complaints in the World Trade Organization (WTO) from Ukraine, Honduras and the Dominican Republic, who claim the laws unfairly restrict trade, although their trade with Australia is negligible.

Tobacco companies have also signalled a potential challenge under a bilateral Australia-Hong Kong investment agreement.

Companies could also use a proposed new Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal to mount a further challenge if the TPP agreement includes controversial investor-state dispute settlement provisions.

Australia has strongly opposed lobbying by big business to include investor-state dispute settlement provisions in the TPP because that would undermine the ability of a government to pass domestic laws.

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