Trade deal 'will boost tobacco companies'
Introducing plain packaging for cigarettes and a new trade agreement will make Ireland more vulnerable to legal action from tobacco companies, according to the Irish Cancer Society.
The Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP), which is currently being negotiated between the US and the EU, would allow companies to bypass domestic courts.
They could also sue countries who introduce polices that affect profits.
Ireland's plan to introduce plain packaging on cigarettes is being challenged in the domestic courts by tobacco companies.
New Zealand has stalled their introduction of plain packaging of tobacco and Uruguay has been sued by the tobacco industry for damages worth €1.8bn.
Minister for Children James Reilly said that the Government will still go through with its plan to introduce plain packaging.
"Any legal challenge to the legislation will be robustly defended," he said.
The Department of Jobs and Enterprise said TTIP will have a positive impact and create an extra 10,000 jobs.