Trade Policy and Health: Adding Retrospective Studies to the Research Agenda; Comment on “The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Is It Everything We Feared for Health?”

Document Type: Commentary

Author

Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies on International Trade and Investment, Institute for Advanced International Studies (HEI), Université Laval, Quebec City, QC, Canada

Abstract

Prospective studies of the potential health consequences of trade and investment treaties, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, are critical. These studies can make visible to trade policy-makers the potential negative impacts associated to such treaties and can influence the outcomes of such negotiations. However, few researchers have examined retrospectively the consequences of trade agreements. With more than 400 trade agreements and more than 2000 investment treaties currently in force, researchers have a large corpus of agreements to analyse in order to assess not only their potential impacts on health system and population health, but also their actual impacts. This comment suggests some research questions that would benefit from retrospective inquiry.

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