Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek says she is confident Indonesia will not defeat the party’s signature plain tobacco packaging rules in a global trade dispute.
Indonesia has taken Australia’s plain packaging laws to the World Trade Organisation arguing it is a breach of the rules of global commerce.
It is the fifth country to do so, after cases brought last year by Ukraine, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Cuba.
Under the rules, all tobacco products have to be sold in drab green boxes, use the same typeface and contain graphic images of diseased smokers.
Ms Plibersek said she was confident the legislation will not be defeated in the WTO because Australia was not treating countries differently under trade rules.
‘[Indonesia's] issue might be one of intellectual property and we’ve had plenty of legal advice to say we’re on strong grounds here,’ she told Sky News on Sunday.
Ms Plibersek said she was proud of the tobacco policy, which came into force in December 2012 and was ‘one of the best things we did in government’.
Indonesia’s objection was a strong symbol it was worried plain packaging was having an effect.
‘I would be delighted if it means that Indonesian tobacco products are selling less … because it means Indonesians are getting sicker and dying less,’ she told Sky News.
‘This is an important measure for people’s health and I’m proud of it.’