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Appellate Body Report, United States – Clove Cigarettes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Benn McGrady*
O’Neil Institute for NationalandGlobal Health Law, Georgetown University


In September 2011, the World Trade Organization (WTO) released the report of a panel tasked with considering a complaint brought by Indonesia concerning prohibitions on certain flavored tobacco products implemented by the United States (US). The panel concluded that the US violated WTO law and recommended that the US be asked to bring its laws into conformity with WTO law.

The US appealed the panel's decision. The Appellate Body of the WTO upheld the panel report on April 4, 2012. This case note gives a brief overview of the Appellate Body's report and examines the implications for tobacco control and public health more generally.

Case Notes
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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1 For a more detailed case note on the panel report see McGrady, Benn, “Panel Report US – Clove Cigarettes”, 2(4) European Journal of Risk Regulation (2011), pp. 600606 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

2 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. 21 U.S.C. § 387g(a)(1)(A).

3 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, HR 1256, section 907(a)(1)(A).

4 Panel Report, United States – Measures Affecting the Production and Sale of Clove Cigarettes,(“Panel Report”),WT/DS406/R, para. 7.182.

5 Ibid, para. 7.273.

6 Ibid, para. 7.268.

7 Ibid, para. 7.276.

8 See Ibid, para. 7.291, where the panel refers to the measure as placing costs on Indonesian producers, but not the United States. This aspect of the panel report was criticized in the Appellate Body report for a number of reasons.

9 Ibid, paras 7.373 – 7.374.

10 Ibid, para. 7.401.

11 Ibid, para. 7.414.

12 Ibid, para. 7.422.

13 Ibid, para. 7.425.

14 Ibid, para. 7.427.

15 Appellate Body Report, United States – Measures Affecting the Production and Sale of Clove Cigarettes, (“Appellate Body Report”), WT/DS406/AB/R, 4 April 2012, para. 120.

16 Ibid, para. 160.

17 Ibid, para. 96.

18 Ibid, para. 192.

19 Ibid, para. 174.

20 Ibid, para. 215; See also para. 182.

21 Ibid, para. 224.

22 Ibid, para. 225.

23 Ibid.

24 Ibid, para. 225.

25 Ibid, para. 96.

26 Ibid, para. 115.

27 Ibid.

29 Appellate Body Report, para. 142