Meanwhile, many agriculture-state lawmakers were irked by Froman’s decision to insert language in the agreement that would prevent companies from challenging anti-smoking regulations and other “tobacco control measures" under an investor-state dispute settlement forum that is a standard feature of free trade agreements and investment treaties.
The change was driven by an unresolved case brought by Philip Morris against Australia’s plain-packaging law critics hold up as a classic example of how ISDS can undermine government public health regulation. Opponents of the move argued that it would create a bad precedent to exclude any legal product, no matter how unpopular, from investment provisions of the trade deal.
Sen. Thom Tillis said he would vote against TPP if the tobacco “carve-out” was included and 17 members of the House Agriculture Committee also expressed concern about the provision in another letter to Froman. Still, 21 Democrats who backed Obama’s request for trade promotion authority this summer urged Froman to include it in the deal.
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