Australian law challenged under trade agreements

In one, Philip Morris Asia Australia accused of violating the 1993 bilateral trade agreement between Hong Kong and Australia. Such agreements, known as investor-state contracts allow foreign investors to bring themselves to arbitration for damages against a country.

images (1)The case is pending arbitration of the UN Commission on International Trade Law.

In the other, Ukraine, Honduras and the Dominican Republic at the beginning of this year have brought their problems facing the World Trade Organization.

The complaint in March in Ukraine was a striking paradox. His Department of Commerce filed a challenge within hours of the President of Ukraine’s president signing a ban on tobacco advertising, and its parliament voting to ban smoking in public places – revolutionary approaches in chain smoking Eastern Europe. Trade officials have accepted; in spite of the actions of Ukraine do not have tobacco exports to Australia, and therefore no obvious interest in its anti-smoking policies.

“We are pleased to support countries that, like us, feel plain packaging could have a negative impact on trade,” said British American spokesman Jem Maidment.

It is not uncommon in trade disputes for corporations to give legal assistance to governments with mutual interested. In this case, however, the three countries appear to have little, if any, are directly interested in Australian politics Tobacco Control.

While tobacco exports from Ukraine to Australia, there are no exports from Honduras and the Dominican Republic in the last three years, an average of $ 65,000 (U.S.) and $ 807,000, respectively, according to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

In response to a request in April, Ukrainian journalists in the country, the country’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade said it was a “policy of support for Ukrainian producers and protect their interests in the domestic and foreign markets.” In this case, the ministry said it had “received concerns” about the law of Australia from the Ukrainian Association of Tobacco Growers, consisting of the top multinational tobacco, and from the Union of wholesalers and manufacturers of alcohol and tobacco Association.

Constantine Krasovksy, formal tobacco control official in Ukraine’s Ministry of Health, told FairWarning country allowed them to be used. “Honduras, Dominican Republic and Ukraine have agreed to be a prostitute,” he said.

Honduran officials, with the April release of the press, the Act” Australia” contrary to its trade obligations. He noted that the tobacco industry “employs hundreds of thousands of people, directly or indirectly through the supply chain in Honduras.”

The Dominican Republic, a major exporter of cigars, also said the plain packaging “will have a significant impact on our economy.” In a written statement FairWarning, Katrina Naut, Director General for foreign trade with the country’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce, said that if other countries join Australia for the adoption of plain packaging, it will lead to a drop in the price of branded tobacco products and “an increase – rather than decrease -.

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