It was a little-noticed but grim event of 2013. The U.S. government backed away from its earlier, sensible position on tobacco's place in the massive trade agreement being secretly negotiated with Pacific nations and hundreds of corporate advisors -- the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The Centers for Disease Control calls tobacco "the leading preventable cause of death," and the World Health Organization reports that tobacco "causes more than 5 million deaths per year."
As 2014 begins, please tell the Obama White House -- and your senators and representative in Congress -- to get tough with the multibillion-dollar cigarette industry that's making a killing from the global tobacco trade.
President Obama’s negotiator in the TPP talks has done Big Tobacco a very big and very deadly favor.
The United States had previously advocated for barring tobacco corporations from challenging tough national laws on labeling and other means of discouraging tobacco use. Now the U.S. position is that Big Tobacco should be allowed to bring such challenges, appealing to a tribunal of corporate lawyers to overturn the laws of national legislatures.
Click here to tell U.S. officials that you reject this toxic smokescreen for lethal profiteering by Big Tobacco!
“As developed nations try to restrict tobacco use, the tobacco industry invokes trade policy in creative and nefarious ways,” the Sacramento Bee editorialized.
The newspaper added: “Anti-smoking organizations led by Tobacco Free Kids called the Obama administration's watered-down stance in the trade talks a missed opportunity. They're correct. The ability of nations to regulate tobacco will become increasingly relevant as the anti-smoking movement spreads, and as the tobacco industry uses every tool at its disposal to fight regulations.”
This episode illustrates the danger of the TPP, which undermines the rule of law across a vast array of issues.
Tell Congress and the White House that you want the TPP agreement made public, you want it publicly debated prior to any vote (no "fast track"), and you want U.S. regulation of tobacco brought up to the standard of leading nations -- not brought down to a standard dictated by the merchants of death themselves.
Please forward this email widely to like-minded friends.
-- The RootsAction.org team
P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, Frances Fox Piven, and many others.
P.P.S. This work is only possible with your financial support. Please donate.
U.S. Trade Representative: New Proposal on Tobacco Regulation in the TPP
Julia Gillard: Tobacco's Ugly Truth Must Be Uncovered
Wall Street Journal: Obama Administration Retreats on Tobacco Proposal
Sacramento Bee: Obama Missed a Chance to Stem Tobacco's Spread