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Health Equity in a Globalizing EraPast Challenges, Future Prospects$
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Ronald Labonté and Arne Ruckert

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198835356

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198835356.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 October 2019

Trade and investment liberalization

Trade and investment liberalization

The health complications of ‘free’ trade

Chapter:
(p.114) Chapter 6 Trade and investment liberalization
Source:
Health Equity in a Globalizing Era
Author(s):

Ronald Labonté

Arne Ruckert

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198835356.003.0006

One of the major drivers of contemporary global market integration is trade and investment liberalization. Disease risks and health opportunities have long travelled the same routes of trade and commerce. Today’s binding and complex trade rules introduce new health complications. Using a number of recent trade agreements as exemplars, this chapter reviews the basic premises of liberalization, its claimed benefits, its purported or actual health risks, and how different provisions in trade and investment treaties (which unlike most global governance rules carry economic enforcement measures) are constraining important public health policy flexibilities in countries that are party to such agreements. From initial opposition to trade liberalization in general, progressive global health movements now focus more on how such rules could be written or revised in order to protect governments’ regulatory policy space, and to promote greater global health equity.

Keywords:   trade treaties, World Trade Organization, GATT, Free Trade Agreements, investment treaties, NAFTA, CPTPP, CETA, regulatory chill

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