The USA Chamber of Commerce Complains to the EU About Ireland’s PP Plan

This will have to be a short post because it is almost 3am an bed calls.

Via a tweet by Dick Puddlecote, I observed this:

The Irish Times newspaper reported that the USA Chamber of Commerce has complained to the European Commission about the Irish plan to introduce PP. Beneath a photo of the ‘Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan’, appears this text:

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan. A letter outlining the US Chamber of Commerce’s objections to the European Commission on the Government’s plans to introduce plain packaging on tobacco products was handed to the Minister’s private secretary at a chamber-hosted business breakfast in Washington on Tuesday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire”

The USA Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to the EU complaining about the Irish plan to introduce PP and gave a copy to the Irish ‘Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade’.


What is important about this development is that it excludes “HEALTH”. It is about ‘Foreign Affairs and Trade’. But the letter itself is addressed to the EU, complaining that, if the Irish PP proposal is passed by the Irish parliament, then the Act would contravene EU rules about ‘free trade’ by abolishing trade marks ‘on the grounds of ‘health’. That is very important. It is not the same as the court case in Australia. If you remember, in Australia, there was a court case in which tobacco companies claimed that the Australian Government had ‘stolen’ their ‘intellectual property’ (their logos and pack designs). The Australian court said that not. As is normal in these cases, the reasoning was convoluted. It went along the lines that ‘forbidding the use of the logos and designs’ did not constitute the ‘theft’ of those logos and designs. Of course, anyone with an intellect can see that that is true, but that is not the real point (I am surprised that the lawyers for the TCs took that approach). What was important was that the Australian government DESTROYED THE TOBACCO COMPANIES’ IDENTITIES. Thus, the legal point is not a matter of ‘theft’ of intellectual property, but the destruction of intellectual property. In my opinion, it is not OK to destroy someone else’s property and claim that you did not ‘steal’ it. In order to destroy it, you must steal it.


Wonderful that it is that the USA Chamber of Commerce has weighed in, one might wonder why if is that every ‘Chamber of Commerce’ throughout the EU has not done likewise. The writing is on the wall in HUGE CAPITAL LETTERS. If such a law can be enacted regarding tobacco, it can enacted about anything at all. Thus, before such a law is enacted, the reasons for it must be thoroughly examined in great detail. Propaganda statements are insufficient and the emotional feelings of MPs are insufficient. What should happen in the Irish parliament is that common sense must prevail. Common sense would dictate that, when the proposal is introduced, an Irish MP proposes that the matter be postponed ad inf, and a vote is taken which, by common sense, passes that motion.


But that is not enough. Those who proposed and supported the Bill must be ousted. They are dangerous people. This ‘principle’ (removing dangerous people from parliament) applies in the UK just as much. MPs who got themselves accepted as candidates for election purely as anti-smoking Zealots must be exposed, regardless of the Political Party that they purport to represent. There are not many and they stand out.

Enough for tonight, but more upon the same lines can be conjectured.




5 Responses to “The USA Chamber of Commerce Complains to the EU About Ireland’s PP Plan”

  1. smokingscot Says:


    Re our exchange a couple of days back. Seems Japan Tobacco is taking full advantage of PP to rid itself of the plant in NI and (oddly) Belgium.

    His post made about 3.30 this afternoon.

    • junican Says:

      Yours was the first alert, but I have read a couple of newspaper reports since.
      I thought that they would keep that plant on the basis of ‘international investment protection’, but clearly, I was wrong. So the Northern Irish assembly (or UK government) will now have to do some work to collect the duty since it no longer has the manufacturer do do all the book-keeping, storage, security, etc and cough up the duty before the cigs are sold. They’re going to have to get the importer of tobacco products to do it somehow. I wonder how many importers and wholesalers there are?

  2. J Brown Says:

    Ah,, I am proud to be an American!! This will be an interesting scenario – thus far, the Irish government has run rampant in many of its practices with little backlash from anyone – whether personal or business. The US Chamber of Commerce now threatens to hit Ireland where it counts, in the pocketbook. It will be interesting to see if the Irish is more concerned about their finances, or the ‘health of the people’. Ha!

    • junican Says:

      I didn’t know that the US Chamber of Commerce had implied some sort of reprisals. Have you read something that makes you think that is so? I’ve been trying to find something more ‘solid’ about this matter on the CoC website, but there is nothing there. Thinking about people like Stanton GRantS, it must be nice to have something to be proud of for a change.

      • J Brown Says:

        I imagine that 70 business groups representing an investment of over 2 trillion bucks will be something that the Irish government will listen to. Currently, their main concern is money. Apparently, they don’t have any….

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