This chapter examines the association between openness to international trade—measured as imports plus exports as a percent of gross domestic product (GDP)—and its consequences for the health of populations, as well as on the debates about its beneficial and harmful effects. It argues that openness to trade is not incompatible with good health of the population affected, but neither is it a guarantee. Much of the difference in mortality among countries depends upon the strength and policies of their governments and the degree to which they can protect their populations and communities from the vicissitudes that openness involves, while still benefiting from its positive effects.
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