(Hartford, CT) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued the following statement on the agreement that has been reached for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), reportedly including a provision protecting the authority of member countries to enact lifesaving tobacco control measures.
“This agreement is an historic recognition that tobacco is not just another consumer product – it poses an active threat to global health. The removal of tobacco from the dispute resolution process acknowledges the dangers posed both by tobacco and by the secretive Investor State Dispute Settlement process that allows big corporations to use trade agreements to circumvent laws protecting public health. However, much about the Trans-Pacific Partnership remains unknown. I urge the U.S. Trade Representative to make the text of this agreement public immediately so that Congress and the American people can be fully aware of details negotiated in secret. As more information about the TPP becomes available, I will scrutinize the text for elements that could undermine important regulations protecting workers’ health and safety and our ability to keep our air and water free from pollution. I will also continue my anti-smoking efforts in Congress, including advocating for my bill that would increase federal excise taxes on tobacco products and continuing to call for the Food and Drug Administration to study and regulate e-cigarettes."