More than 1,000 jobs, held by Native Americans and non-Natives alike, will be lost as a result of the PACT (Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking) Act approved yesterday by the U.S. Senate, according to Seneca Nation President Barry E. Snyder Sr.
The PACT Act would limit distribution of cigarettes manufactured and sold by tribes by banning mail-order cigarette sales. Its proponents say it would cut down on cigarette smuggling, which hurts states by denying them tax revenue from cigarette sales. (For background, see video above.)
“The PACT Act is being portrayed as a tool to fight cigarette smuggling. In reality, it is about big tobacco protecting market share. This action will result in the death of legitimate, treaty-sanctioned Native American commerce, causing significant economic harm, Snyder says, in this story from the Buffalo (N.Y.) Evening Observer:
“We will not back down. We will pursue an aggressive campaign of outreach and education to inform the voters of Western New York which political leaders stand with the Seneca Nation and those who don’t.”
The Seneca Nation maintains the measure, which has attracted strong support and lobbying efforts from mainstream tobacco corporations, led by Philip Morris, said it is an overt attempt by big cigarette corporations to simply stomp out any market competition.
The Buffalo News reports here that the House is expected to quickly approve the Senate version of the bill.
Tags: buffalo post, cigarette smuggling, Gwen Florio, Native American news, PACT Act, Philip Morris, Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act, Seneca Nation, Seneca Nation President Barry E. Snyder Jr., U.S. Senate