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Tobacco Companies

Harrisburg, PA: (Aug-22-07) A North Carolina court ruled in favor of Pennsylvania in a suit that stemmed from a 1999 agreement between states and the nation's largest tobacco companies. After a two year long legal battle, a settlement was reached, which includes an $11 million payout to Pennsylvania's tobacco farmers by tobacco companies. Tobacco farmers have experienced difficult economic times since the 1999 multibillion dollar agreement was signed. The recent settlement would help Pennsylvania's tobacco growers to make the needed investments in their farms and continue playing a vital role in the state's agriculture industry. Payments were delayed due to tobacco manufacturers' concerns about their obligations under the federal Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act, which was passed by Congress in 2004. The federal act provided for a tobacco quota buyout for most growers, but not Pennsylvania and Maryland. The North Carolina court's decision makes clear that the tobacco companies still have an obligation to continue payments to the tobacco trust through 2010, which was established to help Pennsylvania and 13 other states. When the act passed, the companies stopped making payments and Pennsylvania and Maryland took action. [EARTH TIMES: AGRICULTURAL REHABILITATION]

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Published on Aug-23-07


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