Marc Firestone, SVP and General Counsel of Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) appeared as a requested witness in front of the Commission on Security and Cooperation to provide proficient testimony in support of the Commission’s goal of addressing the economic and security threats posed by the illegitimate trade in tobacco. The Commission marks as a bipartisan body of the U.S. Congress with representation from the United States House of Representatives and Senate.
Firestone reported that Philip Morris boasts a clear corporate imperative to fight the problem of the illicit tobacco trade and ensure their products are legally offered in the market. He highlighted that the international illicit tobacco trade yearly deprives governments of $40 billion to $50 billion in lost tax revenue, a figure more than that of the illegal trade in oil, timber, arts, antiquities and wildlife, and conflict minerals combined. Firestone noted that criminals are the just promoters of the international illicit tobacco trade.
The revenues that law abiding manufacturers like Philip Morris and governments lose every year to the illegal trade in tobacco are immense. However, the risk posed to security, safety and the rule of law in the United States, Europe and across the world is where the interests of their firm and the worries of this Commission most purposely intersect.
Firestone emphasized the major role cooperation between law enforcement, government and industry authorities can be vital in tackling illegal tobacco, and showcased a series of concrete plans that these groups could advance to further lower the flow of illicit tobacco globally. Joining Firestone on the professional panel were Dr. Louise Shelley and Professor David Sweanor.
In the last trading session, the stock price of Philip Morris gained more than 1% to close the session at $121.62. The market cap of firm stands around $189 billion.
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