• June 22, 2024

Australia’s tobacco pack law a concern in Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations

Australia’s standardized tobacco-packaging rules are a sticking point in talks over a new free trade agreement with the U.S. and other Pacific nations, according to a story by Chris Pash for Business Insider.

An intellectual-property business delegation representing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which was in Australia last week, is said to view the removal, by law, of company brands as “strange.”

The representatives were said to understand the health benefits associated with standardized tobacco packaging but were of the opinion that a company’s brand was highly valuable and in some cases the majority of a business’s value.

This was an issue that needed to be solved in order to get closer to the U.S.-sponsored free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Last month, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott raised the possibility of a deal within three months.

Mark Elliot, executive vice president of the Global Intellectual Property Center, part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the delegation was keen to have a conversation with the Australian government.

“There are some areas of disagreement with the former government [the Labor government that brought in standardized packaging], and the new government is still working through those issues,” he said.