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Multilateral Banks Could Support LMICs’ Anti-Tobacco Policies

Noting a recent report in the New York Times about “Big Tobacco’s use of international trade and investment agreements to undermine anti-tobacco policies in low- and middle-income countries [LMICs],” Amanda Glassman, senior fellow and director of global health policy at the Center for Global Development (CGD), and Bill Savedoff, a senior fellow at the center, write in CGD’s “Global Health Policy” blog, “[A]gencies like the World Bank could use their money, technical assistance and policy dialogue to support cost-effective and inexpensive tobacco control measures.” They conclude, “While the [U.S. Trade Representative] should pursue the sensible strategy laid out by Tom Bollyky at the Council on Foreign Relations, trade is an indirect way to get at the problem. What we really need is for the World Bank, the IMF, the regional development banks and others to provide big visible support for developing countries to implement their anti-tobacco policies. That’s the strongest way to face down the Tobacco Bullies” (12/16).