Imagine you were about to buy a property and were advised that in two years time, a major freeway would be built two hundred metres away, greatly diminishing the value of your purchase. Then imagine you went ahead anyway, the freeway was built, and your property value went down as expected. You took the person who sold you the property and the government who built the freeway to court, seeking compensation.
Fools and their money are easily parted.
This is, in effect, what the tobacco transnational Philip Morris has done with Australia’s plain tobacco packaging laws, fully implemented in December 2012, when it started legal proceedings against the Australian government under a bilateral trade agreement between Hong Kong and Australia signed in 1993. The arrogant claim being made is that our plain packaging law breaches the agreement between the government of Hong Kong and the government of Australia for the promotion and protection of investments.
The Rudd government announced plain packaging on April 29, 2010. At that time, Philip Morris tobacco products in Australia were manufactured by Philip Morris Australia. On February 23, 2011, Philip Morris Asia purchased Philip Morris Australia and on June 27, 2011 – a full 14 months after knowing the government intended to introduce plain packs – Philip Morris Asia served its notice of claim to the Australian government.
See more at: