Realizing that its credibility, function, and future is deteriorating quicker than the Arctic ice, the United States Chamber of Commerce has found a new business model. It’s pushing American tobacco companies globally into countries that are trying to stop their citizens from dying from tobacco related diseases.  Ring of Fire suggest a new name for this organization started 100 years ago – U.S. Death Chamber of Corporate Greed.

How did the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Become an International Drug Pusher?

In recent decades, public awareness of the connection between tobacco use and a host of  diseases that include cancer, COPD, emphysema and more, has become nearly universal. Despite this, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCOC) and its affiliates around the world are still aggressively supporting and promoting the one product proven to cause injury and death when used as directed.

The latest story on this appeared yesterday in the New York Times. However, the the USCOC has been busy at work on this issue for some time. Over the past several years, governments around the world as well as the World Health Organization have been working to discourage and reduce tobacco use.  At the same time, the “Shame-ber” has been just as busy contacting those same governments, expressing their “concerns” over “extreme measures” banning smoking in public spaces and “ineffective warning labels” that present “unnecessary obstacles to international trade.” One letter, addressed to the New Zealand Ministry of Health, came right out accusing that government of violating global trade laws with its “plain packaging laws.” That particular letter, which expresses support of “measures to protect public health” as well thinly-veiled threats, is a masterpiece of double-speak that would have shocked George Orwell himself. And it is only one of dozens of such communications to government health agencies around the planet.

Now,  thanks to Wall Street’s new best buddy, President Obama, along with the traitors in CON-gress, the USCOC has even more power to overturn years of legislative efforts to stop smoking in countries all over the world. The ink on the infamous, secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership has barely dried, and already, USCOC chief executive Thomas J. Donohoe is looking to sue sovereign governments under forthcoming trade agreements.

It is the realization of our worst dystopian nightmare – the corporate takeover of democracy.

There may be an even more sinister agenda here. Earlier this week, Mike Papantonio interviewed fellow attorney Howard Nations on the TPP’s biggest beneficiary, Big Pharma. At the same time, the USCOC is pushing hard to force sovereign governments to allow and even encourage the use of a product known to cause cancer and other diseases.

As far as Big Pharma is concerned, cancer is good for business. Coincidence?


K.J. McElrath is a former history and social studies teacher who has long maintained a keen interest in legal and social issues. In addition to writing for The Ring of Fire, he is the author of two published novels: Tamanous Cooley, a darkly comic environmental twist on Dante's Inferno, and The Missionary's Wife, a story of the conflict between human nature and fundamentalist religious dogma. When not engaged in journalistic or literary pursuits, K.J. works as an entertainer and film composer.