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U.S. tobacco trade proposal draws fire from both sides

A U.S. trade proposal aimed at eliminating foreign tariffs on U.S. tobacco products while preserving the right of governments to adopt anti-smoking regulations is drawing fire from opposing sides - public health and business groups.The American Cancer Society and allied organizations said the plan would give tobacco companies a new tool to challenge government anti-smoking measures, while business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Farm Bureau Federation said it would weaken a tenet of international trade law that many U.S. exporters rely on to sell goods abroad.U.S. trade negotiators will offer the proposal in talks beginning on Friday in Brunei on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed free trade agreement between the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and Brunei.Washington hopes to wrap up the proposed pact by the end of the year. The Brunei meeting is the 19th round in a negotiat...

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