Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Big Tobacco Wants TPP Trade Deal To Block NZ’s Smoking Laws

Big Tobacco Wants TPP Trade Deal To Block NZ’s Smoking Laws

The Green Party is calling on the Government to reject attempts to introduce investor-state disputes mechanisms into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations in light of evidence that the Philip Morris tobacco company is planning to use the TPP to block anti-smoking laws.

“Most New Zealanders will be shocked to learn that the huge multinational tobacco company Philip Morris is using trade agreements to try to stop governments from introducing anti-smoking measures. But it is true," Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

Philip Morris is currently taking action against Uruguay’s proposed anti-smoking laws under the investor-state disputes mechanism of the trade agreement between Uruguay and Switzerland (1). Uruguay is proposing to introduce new measures requiring 80 percent of cigarette packaging to carry graphic warnings against smoking. The company argues such measures effectively expropriate their investments. Under the investor-state disputes mechanism a World Bank panel will decide if Uruguay must pay Philip Morris for this ‘expropriation’.

Philip Morris is also targeting New Zealand’s TPP negotiations to ensure there are investor-state disputes mechanisms so Philip Morris will be able to sue governments that attempt to introduce similar anti-smoking laws.

Philip Morris’ submission (2) on the TPP to the United States Government specifically identifies proposals to introduce plain packaging of cigarette packages. They argue that such plain packaging of cigarettes is “tantamount to expropriation on the use of long-held and extremely valuable property rights”.

Philip Morris argues that investor-state disputes mechanisms in the TPP are essential so that companies can “submit disputes to independent international tribunals, a vital part of protecting its foreign investments”.

Dr Norman said the measures recently announced in the Māori Affairs Select Committee report on tobacco—such as plain packaging—would clearly fall foul of Philip Morris’ view of their investment rights.

“Our Government should not be so stupid as to sign up to investor-states disputes mechanisms that allow foreign corporations to challenge our democratic laws in undemocratic World Bank tribunals.

“Philip Morris wants investor-state disputes mechanisms in the TPP so it can stop countries introducing measures to reduce harm from smoking. We should say no,” Dr Norman said.

References
(1) International media coverage of Philip Morris case against Uruguay - http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/health/2010/11/22/uruguay-takes-tobacco-giant-philip-morris/

(2) Link to Philip Morris submission on TPP - http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/contentStreamer?objectId=0900006480a81299&disposition=attachment&contentType=pdf

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Rivals For The Covid Saliva Testing Dollar

If you want a good insight into what the limits of tiny, barely discernible steps to reduce poverty actually look like, delve into the latest Statistics Department figures on poverty in New Zealand Most of the nine measures utilised reveal little or no progress in combatting poverty over the 21 months to March 2020... More>>


 

Government: Reserve Bank To Take Account Of Housing In Decision Making

The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into ... More>>

ALSO:


RNZ: Alert Levels Remain

There are no new community cases of Covid-19 today, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says at least half of the Papatoetoe High School community have been tested and the results that have come through so far have all been negative... More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: Latest Release Of Child Poverty Statistics

All measures of child poverty were trending downwards, prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, across the two years since year ended June 2018, Stats NZ said today. The COVID-19 lockdown in late March 2020 affected Stats NZ’s ability to collect data from households ... More>>

ALSO:


NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>

Parliament: Kiwi MPs Among The “Most Educated In The World”

New analysis of MP qualifications reveals New Zealand’s Parliament is one of the most educated and highest qualified in the world, and significantly more educated than Australia’s. The research, by Mark Blackham of BlacklandPR and Geoffrey Miller ... More>>

The Dig: An Illogical Ideological Struggle

Dig beneath all the trade wars and the arguments to the effect that the USA should not permit China to achieve economic and technological superiority, or even parity, and you find the real reason behind the conflict... More>>

Travel: Government Eases Visa Restrictions For Visitors In New Zealand

Visitor visa holders will be able to stay in New Zealand a little longer as the Government eases restrictions for those still here, the Minister of Immigration has announced. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels