Free trade agreements and health: the shift from multilateralism and the rise of ‘WTO-Plus’ provisions

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology Norway (NTNU) in a two part glossary, has investigated how free trade agreements effect public health.

Researchers investigate how the global trading system has undergone a shift away from multilateral trade negotiations to a ‘spaghetti-bowl’ of regional and bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs). As part of this glossary, findings discuss why this shift has occurred, focusing on how it poses new challenges for public health. Specifically, introducing key terms that shape this new trading environment and explain them through a public health lens.

Part 1 of this glossary focuses on provisions in FTAs that build on previous agreements of the World Trade Organization (WTO). These provisions are commonly designated as ‘WTO-Plus’.

Part 2 of the glossary, considers components of FTAs that have no precedent within WTO treaties. Following a broader discussion of how the current political context and the COVID-19 pandemic shape the contemporary trade environment, part 2 considers the main areas of trade and health policy incoherence as well as recommendations to address them.

Read part 1 and part 2 here.

Governance, Health in All Policies, Economy of Wellbeing, Health Impact Assessment, sustainable development

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