In October of last year, the Canadian Parliament passed the Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act, which contained a provision outlawing the sale of cigarettes made with flavor additives that appeal to children. This law applies equally to tobacco products that are imported and domestically produced, but this hasn’t stopped several countries from attacking the new law.
Last month, 14 countries, including the
The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) raising concerns about the law is objectionable enough, but a 1998 law prohibiting the USTR and some other federal agencies from “using appropriated funds to promote the sale or export of tobacco or tobacco products and from seeking the removal of nondiscriminatory foreign restrictions on the marketing of tobacco” could get USTR into some hot water if it chooses to directly challenge the law.
In a letter obtained by Inside
I strongly urge that USTR take no action contrary to Canada on this matter, and indeed, good public policy on tobacco voiced generally by the Administration suggests USTR should be actively supporting the Canadians….Even beyond the troubling implications of the United States opposing a strong public health measure of another country, in this instance, prior law expressly forbids USTR from doing so.
USTR also raised the issue in its National Trade Estimate
report last month. In the report,
though, USTR stated that “The United States strongly supports the objective of
deterring youth from tobacco use.” If this is truly the case, USTR
should back down from this misadventure and respect
Thanks to Flickr user Wanderungen for the photo