According to a recent NY Times article, the US chamber of commerce is actively involved in fending off foreign laws which might hurt tobacco companies.It seems that our business organization is especially busy in third world countries, where smoking generates quite a bit of money for tobacco companies.
Sure most of the population there is malnourished, lacks basic needs such as clean water and medical care. What the heck? In the name of profit why not add smoking to the list? US consumers, wise to the dangers of smoking, have dramatically cut down on their smoking, so markets must be found elsewhere.
I am confident that the US chamber of commerce will, after careful review by their PR department, come up with some gobbledy goop as to why they should push for tobacco friendly laws abroad. Expect to find phrases such as free market capitalism, protection of intellectual rights and importance of choice.
The commerce wouldn’t dare to get into the fray in this country, as they are well aware of the backlash which would occur. Other countries, especially third world are low lying fruit, easily manipulated into believing that profits generated from smoking will flow back into their land, where such funds are scarce.
I wonder how our friends at the US chamber of commerce, who are at the forefront of this campaign, sleep at night. My guess is that they have convinced themselves that economic progress (read profits for US tobacco companies) trumps health and well being.