According to Inside U.S. Trade, Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) has placed a hold on the nomination of Miriam Saprio to the post of Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, due to concerns about …Canadian legislation to prevent tobacco marketing to kids?
Bunning has apparently halted the nomination proceedings to focus the Obama administration on the Canadian anti-smoking legislation, which some U.S. tobacco interests fear will block exports to Canada. The law is known as the Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act, and was passed in the Canadian Senate in October. It has already been criticized as a so-called trade barrier, and has been placed on the WTO's Technical Barriers to Trade committee meeting agenda for this week. A U.S. source said that Brazil will likely speak in opposition to the law, but USTR has yet to decide if it will take a position.Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has criticized Bunning’s move, saying the Obama administration “cannot dictate how the Canadian legislature does its job, any more than the Canadian Parliament can dictate how we do ours.” If Reid likes this, he should check out the recent USTR 2009 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, which criticizes Canada and a number of American allies for their domestic safety and health laws.