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Fact Sheet: New Proposal on Tobacco Regulation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

WASHINGTON, D.C.

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NEW U.S. PROPOSAL ON TOBACCO REGULATION IN THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP

The Obama Administration plans to table a new proposal on tobacco at the upcoming Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in Brunei that builds on policies and approaches used in past agreements. We are moving forward with this proposal after seeking input from stakeholders, including health advocates, farmers, industry stakeholders, and others. We have been reviewing feedback on this issue for some time, and have engaged in extensive communication with Congress and other stakeholders. We will continue this engagement as we now move forward with a proposal that we believe is the best way to advance the Administration’s public health policy objectives in a manner consistent with our trade policy objectives.

Elements of Revised TPP Tobacco Proposal

• The TPP agreement will, like other trade agreements, contain a general exception for matters necessary to protect human life or health. We will propose including a provision indicating that the TPP Parties understand that general exception applies to tobacco health measures. 

• We will also propose adding a provision requiring that before a Party initiates a challenge through TPP dispute settlement to another Party’s tobacco regulatory measure, the health authorities of the concerned Parties shall meet to discuss the measure. These two elements work together to preserve the right to regulate tobacco products domestically. 

• Finally, the market access element of the proposal will remain unchanged, consistent with long-standing trade and agriculture policy. As we do for other products, we will continue to press for the elimination of tariffs on U.S. agriculture exports, which, by their very nature, discriminate against American farmers.