Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cloves Cigarettes case - Will the ban be lifted?

A lot has been written about the Cloves Cigarette dispute (DS 406) between the United States and Indonesia which relates to the ban on clove based cigarettes which the WTO found inconsistent with U.S. obligations under the WTO. The Appellate Body ruled against the ban and the U.S. has a "reasonable time" up to July 2013 to comply with the decision. In what manner would the U.S. comply has been a subject matter of intense academic discussion which I have attempted to capture here, here, here and here.

Found this piece titled "Losing Flavor:Indonesia's WTO Complaint against the U.S. Ban on Clove Cigarettes"  in the American University International Law Review, though written prior to the Appellate Body decision, rightly forecasts the decision and offers a four options for the U.S. to follow:

1.It can legislate the ban to apply equally across all flavored-cigarette categories. A blanket ban on all flavored cigarettes would ensure that all flavored cigarettes, regardless of where they were manufactured, would be consistent with the nondiscrimination principles of Article III:4, GATT.

2.It can create other regulatory tools that can potentially realize the policy goal of reducing youth smoking. Such regulations could include any combination of the following policies, as long as the United States implements them consistently across all types of flavored cigarettes: taxation, packaging guidelines, or educational programs.

3. It can treat all flavored cigarettes equally by placing a temporary moratorium on the sale of all flavored cigarettes pending the result of a congressionally mandated scientific study.

4.It  can institute a temporary ban on menthol cigarettes that would “sunset” after the conclusion of the scientific report. After a temporary ban sunsets, Congress can choose to extend or eliminate it entirely.

How would the U.S. comply in this case? Will there be a "political" or "legal" settlement of this dispute? Will negotiations be the way out? Political feasibility, domestic pressure, elections and interpretation of what constitutes "compliance" will determine the course of action. One would have to wait for 2013 for this one to get solved.

1 comment:

ScientificAwesomeness Blog said...

Hello! Have you ever been involved a position when a stranger has robbed you online and took your intellectual property? Can't wait to see your answer.