EU- US trade deal likely to affect Ireland's ability to pass public health laws
It could allow multinational companies to sue countries for introducing public health policies that will reduce the cancer rate and save lives but hit the commercial bottom line.
It is through similar trade agreements that Australia, the first country to introduce plain packaging of tobacco, is being sued by tobacco companies.
“Ireland has become a global leader in anti-tobacco initiatives for example,” said Kathleen O’Meara, Head of Advocacy & Communications. “This has happened in the face of serious and costly opposition by global tobacco companies. Right now, our plain packaging of tobacco laws are being challenged in the domestic courts by tobacco companies. TTIP could allow such a case to be taken at a three-person investor court sitting in Washington DC which would not have an appeal mechanism and would be massively expensive for the State to defend.”