Ministers Richard Bruton and Leo Varadkar have both dodged a question posed by Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín on the recent US Chamber of Commerce's criticism of Ireland's public policy, when it came to plain packaging of cigarettes.
Tóibín asked both Ministers the following question, as to the "the impact the recent US Chamber of Commerce complaint regarding Ireland's public policy lodged with the European Commission will have on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the investor-State dispute settlement mechanism attached to the agreement."
Minister Bruton answered that "included in the mandate is the recognition of the right to take measures necessary to achieve legitimate public policy objectives," adding that the Minister for Health has "primary responsibility" for the plain packaging measure.
Several days later, Minister Varadkar responded by not addressing the US Chamber's complaint at all, instead focusing on the reasoning behind the plain packaging Bill.
"Standardised packaging forms the latest strand of a comprehensive range of tobacco control legislation already in place in Ireland aimed at decreasing tobacco consumption in this country," he said.
In mid-September, the US Chamber warned in a letter that the government's proposals “set a dangerous precedent at the expense of the protection of IP rights for a number of industries, not just tobacco."
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones