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Chris Bostic
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Thank you for your response, but it still doesn't address the issue of regulatory chill. You take issue of my use of the word "abuse", which I firmly stand behind, but semantics aside there is a demonstrable tobacco industry strategy to use the threat of massive legal expenses to bully governments into dropping plans to reduce tobacco use. I fully agree that the focus of trade agreements should be on protectionism. Can you point to any recent trade dispute on tobacco in which the regulation under dispute was protectionist? How does Australia's plain packaging, Uruguay's single presentation, or Norway's point of sale ban give their domestic industry any advantage?
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Mr. Lester, your final bullet point on the potential of tobacco carve-outs ignores the main argument in favor - that the tobacco industry is abusing trade DR processes in order to create regulatory chill (such as New Zealand and Togo delaying plain packaging after threats of suits). A country like Togo cannot afford such a case, even if virtually guaranteed victory under the plain language of the trade agreement being invoked.
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Feb 24, 2015