The United States joined 11 other countries and signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement in Auckland, New Zealand, on February 4 World Cancer Day.
This is the first time that a signed trade and investment agreement includes a provision that protects the right of participating countries to adopt laws and policies to reduce tobacco use by preventing tobacco companies from using the TPP to launch legal attacks on these life-saving measures.
The TPP trade agreement sets an important precedent for future trade agreements to treat tobacco products differently. By approving this important agreement, tobacco companies would no longer be able to use such agreements to intimidate partner countries working to protect their citizens from death and disease caused by tobacco use.
Now that the TPP has been signed, the trade agreement can considered by Congress, although itÈs uncertain when congressional leaders will take that step. ACS CAN sent a letter to Congress urging Members of Congress to vote for the TPP, because of the tobacco provision, when it comes before Congress.
In this century, tobacco is projected to kill one billion people worldwide. Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death in the United States and around the world, killing more than 6 million people each year globally, including 480,000 in the United States.
Passing the TPP with its tobacco exception is an important step forward to prevent death and disease from tobacco in the US and around the world.