Ways and Means Democrats Press USTR to Protect Anti-Tobacco Public Health Measures in TPP Negotiations

Jul 24, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – All 15 Ways and Means Committee Democratic Members today sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman pressing him to ensure the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations clearly protect legitimate public health measures related to tobacco. (Read the full letter here.)

Countries around the world – including those engaged in TPP negotiations – have put in place substantive measures to help prevent and reduce tobacco consumption. Despite these efforts, the tobacco industry has continued to work to undermine these laws through international trade disputes. In their letter, Democratic Members urged Ambassador Froman to lead efforts to make sure these public health commitments are not weakened by unwarranted challenges under the TPP agreement.

“Tobacco is projected to kill one billion people globally this century unless countries take action to reduce the consumption of tobacco products,” the Members wrote. “Thus, protecting the sovereign right of countries to adopt legitimate policies to reduce tobacco consumption from tobacco industry subversion in the TPP is critical to the health of the citizens of all of the TPP countries, including the United States.”

The letter was signed by Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI), Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), as well as Ways and Means Committee Members Jim McDermott (D-WA), John Lewis (D-GA), Richard E. Neal (D-MA), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Mike Thompson (D-CA), John B. Larson (D-CT), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Ron Kind (D-WI), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Linda Sánchez (D-CA), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), and Joseph Crowley (D-NY). To read the full letter, click here.