In one of my first posts I shared a clip from “Last Week Tonight” scrutinizing big tobacco’s legal warfare against small vulnerable countries that wish to promote tighter regulations on the industry within their own borders. Today I would like to address an incredible success against big tobacco’s bullying.
On October 5th twelve Pacific Rim countries, including the US and Japan, reached an historic international trade agreement called the “Trans-Pacific Partnership” (TPP). This agreement was reached after more than 5 years of negotiations and is considered to be a benchmark for global trade agreements in the 21st century.
Among many issues, this agreement sets the rules for Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS) or in more simple terms, the regulations and terms through which international corporations can sue countries in court, and even singles out big tobacco.
This is an obvious blow to the classical bullying tactics used by the tobacco industry.
For example, Australia spend over $50 million to defend their plain packaging reforms in court after law suits by Phillip Morris International (PMI). African countries such as Uganda and Togo had received threats by big tobacco that they would be sued and face punishing legal fees just for going to court against big tobacco if they pushed certain anti tobacco legislation through their own will. In some cases the potential legal fees are larger than the country’s own budget.
This is how Codentify fits into the picture.
It is clear the tobacco industry is also trying to bully EU countries into adopting Codentify as their official track and tracing system for taxation purposes across the EU. Codentify is of course a product of the tobacco industry and is itself severely flawed, as I have pointed out in previous posts as well as in interviews with former tobacco employees themselves.
Considering the flaws in the system and its origins are so clear, it must be that countries are only really supporting it due to this same fear that has led to major legal expenses in Australia and other places.
Promoting Codentify’s use across the world is actually an alternative means of influence over potential future TPP style deals that restrict big tobacco’s influence.
TPP is a proof that change can be achieved and that together countries are strong enough to fight against big tobacco TOGETHER.
I hope to see the European countries currently facing pressure and potentially threats from the tobacco industry to band together and make sure this devious initiative never gets off the ground.
Take a stand against the industry by signing my petition and hopefully we can see the same success TPP has had in the Europe.