Guidance on Tobacco for US Diplomatic Missions

17 March 2017:

17 March 2017: The U.S. has good laws that prohibit the use of funds in carrying out their foreign policy to (1) promote “the sale or export of tobacco or tobacco products,” or (2) seek “the reduction or removal” of non-discriminatory restrictions by foreign governments on tobacco product marketing. These are the Doggett Amendment, U.S. Executive Order 13193 and the 2009 Tobacco: Guidance for U.S. Diplomatic and Consular Posts on Trade and Commercial Issues.

The U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam led a delegation of top 30 U.S. businesses, (6 – 9 March) which included Philip Morris, on a Business Mission that met with the Vietnamese Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. This Mission was facilitated by the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC). On 7 March the US-ABC reported its Custom & Trade Facilitation division, of which Philip Morris International is the Vice Chair, together with Vietnam Business Mission met with representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam.

The laws on tobacco for Diplomatic Missions would be applicable since Philip Morris was part of the business delegation and had an active role through its Custom & Trade Facilitation Division. However, the U.S. Embassy’s response to appeal letters on this matter is that the Business Mission was not exclusively for PMI.