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Tobacco Products in WTO Law

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Chapter Summary

The first section of this chapter briefly introduces the current regulatory practice in tobacco control. The second section turns to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and analyses their impact on domestic measures addressing the problem of tobacco use. This discussion refers to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT 1994), the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement), and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). This section also identifies some tensions that may exist between antitobacco policies and international trade obligations. The last section makes some tentative observations on how to reconcile the free trade paradigm embodied in the WTO with the need to ensure regulatory space for Members when adopting tobacco-related measures. It is hardly questionable that the liberalization of international trade has been a factor contributing to the increased use of tobacco.

Keywords: antitobacco policies; GATT; General Agreement; international trade; Tariffs; Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT); Tobacco; TRIPS; World Trade Organisation (WTO)



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