June 28, 2018 / 3:22 PM / 9 months ago

Australia wins landmark tobacco packaging ruling at WTO

GENEVA, June 28 (Reuters) - Australia won a clear victory on Thursday in a major trade dispute over its pioneering tobacco packaging law, with a panel of judges at the World Trade Organization rejecting arguments brought by Cuba, Indonesia, Honduras and Dominican Republic.

In its ruling, the WTO panel said Australia’s “plain packaging” law contributed to improving public health by reducing use of and exposure to tobacco products, and rejected claims that alternative measures would be equally effective.

The ruling, which is expected to be appealed, also rejected the complainants’ argument that Australia’s law unjustifiably infringed tobacco trademarks and violated intellectual property rights. (Reporting by Tom Miles; editing by Stephanie Nebehay)

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