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The Thai Cigarettes Case: A Current Critique

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides a brief overview of the factual background and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) proceedings of the Thai Cigarettes case and introduces the main issues raised by the case. It discusses the panel's two analytical approaches with regard to Thai health objectives and trade measures. Finally, the chapter critiques the Thai Cigarettes case on several points: (1) whether the panel's efforts to seek the opinion of a neutral outside expert were successful; (2) whether the panel legitimately applied the Section 337 "least-inconsistent test" to a health policy case; (3) whether the "reasonably available" standard should be applied to all countries in the same way; (4) whether the panel would have reached a different conclusion if Thailand had introduced regulations governing cigarette manufacturing techniques concerning tobacco reconstitution; and (5) whether this case illustrated any limits on supply-side tobacco control under international economic law.

Keywords: cigarette manufacturing techniques; GATT; health policy; international economic law; supply-side tobacco control; Thai Cigarettes case; Thai health objectives; tobacco reconstitution; trade measures



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