Press Release – Otago University
US Alcohol Companies Relishing the Propest of TPPA, which will Consolidate NZ’s Heavy Drinking CultureUS Alcohol Companies Relishing the Propest of TPPA, which will Consolidate NZ’s Heavy Drinking Culture
The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) is urging the US Senate to pass a House of Representatives (House)-approved Bill, the Trade Promotion Agency (TPA), which will facilitate the passing of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
DISCUS represents over 135 distillers and includes some of the largest alcohol producers in the world, including Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Bacardi, Brown-Forman and Constellation Brands. DISCUS is lobbying for the US to conclude new trade agreements, such as the TPPA, because these make it easier for US alcohol exports.
When the US House of Representatives (the House) approved the TPA DISCUS was thrilled.
“This is an extremely positive development. Trade Promotion Authority is the key to expanding market access across the globe and to building on the record export growth we¹ve experienced for five straight years, said Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President of International Trade Christine LoCascio, noting that spirits exports totalled over $1.5 billion
in 2014. We urge the Senate to pass the House-approved bill as soon as possible.”
“The prospects of the TPPA being passed may be thrilling to US alcohol companies who probably have NZ in their sights, but would consolidate New Zealand’s heavy drinking culture”, said Professor Doug Sellman of Alcohol Action NZ.
“The TPPA will have provisions that restrict the ability of future New Zealand governments to regulate alcohol sales and promotion, even when aiming to improve the health and well-being of the population. DISCUS alcohol companies will be able to take a future NZ government to an international court over policies that might reduce their projected profits.”
“While New Zealand continues to have aggressively marketed ultra-cheap alcohol, available for most of the 24 hours of the day, we will continue to have a heavy drinking culture” added Professor Jennie Connor, another medical spokesperson for Alcohol Action.
“Over half the profit of the alcohol industry comes from heavy drinking, so they naturally have a strong vested interest in maintaining the status quo, a situation which will be consolidated if the TPPA is passed.”