WTO Petition - Trade Dispute between Thailand and Philippines over Tobacco Taxes (2009)

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Status: Closed


On March 27, 2009, the Tobacco Law Center filed the equivalent of a motion for permission to file an amicus brief in a trade dispute over Thailand’s tobacco taxes, which the Philippines claims are affecting the sale of Marlboros made in the Philippines. The filing was with a World Trade Organization trade dispute panel. Our proposed brief addressed the tension between free trade and public health which, in the case of tobacco sales, is undermined by free trade.  The brief asserted the importance of public health considerations, the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (the first international public health treaty), and the Framework Convention’s requirement that public health be factored into tobacco tax policies. The brief was written by Doug Blanke, Executive Director of the Tobacco Law Center (now the Public Health Law Center), and Benn McGrady, an Australian attorney at the VicHealth Center for Tobacco Control in Melbourne.

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