Free Trade Agreement Threat

Canada withdrew its intention to legislate on “simple” cigarette packaging when Philip Morris threatened a trade dispute in 1994 and demanded millions for the “expropriation” of their intellectual property – that is, their brand – if Canada followed its plans.8 Among the free trade agreements now on the negotiating table is a proposed agreement between the United States and Theean Colombian countries. Ecuador and Peru. Like other north-south treaties of this type, the Andean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) has raised concerns about its likely negative effects on contracting parties to developing countries. In this context, the current stalemate in talks between AFTA and citizens` groups offers an opportunity to further mobilise public opposition to the agreement. He pointed out that multilateral trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership harm U.S. interests. He also said the North American Free Trade Agreement was responsible for accelerating the decline in U.S. production. The GATT provides for a waiver of its broad trade rules that allow nations to take and enforce the measures necessary to protect the life or health of humans, animals or plants.

Measures include laws, regulations, standards and other measures. However, this derogation from Article XX(b)(b) of the GATT requires that such measures must not be arbitrary or unjustified discriminatory between countries or constitute a disguised restriction on international trade. Nations have filed a lawsuit in commercial courts, claiming that public health measures are contrary to trade rules. These public health challenges have been successful in almost all cases. The burden lies with the nation attempting to implement the public health measure in order to demonstrate that the exception is applicable to public health in the GATT. To do this, a nation must conduct a two-step test: (1) demonstrate that the health or environmental measure is necessary, i.e. that it is effective and that no less restrictive measures have been available to achieve the same public health objective; and (2) whether it is necessary to demonstrate that the proposed public health measure does not constitute a “disguised restriction on international trade” or “arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination”. If the effect is discriminatory, the measure may be rejected, even if it is “necessary” to protect public health.7,8 For example, a country that imposes restrictions on tobacco imports may be challenged to demonstrate that restrictions on the import of tobacco products are “necessary” for tobacco control and that import restrictions are less restrictive than other health protection measures, for example: Health warnings for consumers.8,9 Health protection alternatives may be hypothetical and need not be proven effective or politically viable. In the 1980s, the global economy was more integrated. Technological changes in communication and transport have accelerated the exchange of goods and services. These axioms have resulted in proposals to include new areas of trade and social policy, such as services, agriculture and investment, in the isolated jurisdiction of international trade agreements.

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