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2 - The public health implications of multilateral trade agreements

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 September 2009

M. Kent Ranson
Affiliation:
Ph.D. candidate Health Policy Unit of LSHTM
Robert Beaglehole
Affiliation:
Professor of Community Health University of Auckland, New Zealand
Carlos M. Correa
Affiliation:
Lawyer and Economist; Director of the Master Program on Science and Technology Policy and Management and Director of the postgraduate course on Intellectual Property University of Buenos Aires; Consultant UNCTAD, UNIDO, WHO, FAO, Interamerican Development Bank, INTAL, World Bank, SELA, ECLA, and other regional and international organizations
Zafar Mirza
Affiliation:
Public health specialist A national consumer protection organisation in Pakistan and combines research pursuits with activism at national and international level
Kent Buse
Affiliation:
Assistant Professor of International Health School of Public Health at the Yale University School of Medicine
Nick Drager
Affiliation:
Coordinator: Globlization, Cross Sectoral Policies and Human Rights Department of Health and Sustainable Development with the World Health Organisation
Kelley Lee
Affiliation:
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Kent Buse
Affiliation:
Yale University, Connecticut
Suzanne Fustukian
Affiliation:
Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh
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Summary

Introduction

An important feature of the modern global trading environment has been the establishment of a comprehensive legal and institutional foundation to regulate international trade in the context of a general desire to enhance political and economic stability. Since 1947, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) has provided a rules-based regime to govern world trade, but has had limited powers of enforcement. In recognition of the expanding network and volume of world trade, the GATT evolved in 1995 into the World Trade Organization (WTO), an international organisation with the mandate to reduce trade barriers to goods and services and to mediate trade disputes between countries. Under the WTO, the rules and regulations that guide world trade are entrenched in multilateral trade agreements (MTAs) that are enforceable through a binding dispute resolution mechanism. The underlying assumption of the WTO system is that human welfare will increase through economic growth based on trade liberalisation in the context of non-discriminatory rules and transparency. From a public health perspective, this desirable goal requires linking the benefits of the global trading system to sound social policies (Drager 1999)

This chapter explores from a public health perspective the impact, actual and potential, of selected WTO MTAs on health policy, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The purpose of this analysis is to suggest policy options for ensuring that existing, and any future, MTAs are more sensitive to public health issues.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2002

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References

Bettcher, D., Yach, D. and Guindon, G. E. 2000, ‘Global trade and health: key linkages and future challenges’, Bulletin of the World Health Organization 78 (4): 521–34Google Scholar
Correa, C. 2000, ‘Implementing national public health policies in the framework of World Trade Organisation agreements’, Journal of World Trade 34 (5): 89–121Google Scholar
Kinnon, C. 1998, ‘World trade: bringing health into the picture’, World Health Forum 19: 397–406Google Scholar
Koivusalo, M. 1999, ‘World Trade Organization and trade-creep in health and social policies’, GASPP Occasional Papers no. 4, HelsinkiGoogle Scholar
Pollock, A. M. and Price, D. 2000, ‘Rewriting the regulations: how the World Trade Organisation could accelerate privatisation in health-care systems’, The Lancet 356, 9 December: 1995–2000CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  • The public health implications of multilateral trade agreements
    • By M. Kent Ranson, Ph.D. candidate Health Policy Unit of LSHTM, Robert Beaglehole, Professor of Community Health University of Auckland, New Zealand, Carlos M. Correa, Lawyer and Economist; Director of the Master Program on Science and Technology Policy and Management and Director of the postgraduate course on Intellectual Property University of Buenos Aires; Consultant UNCTAD, UNIDO, WHO, FAO, Interamerican Development Bank, INTAL, World Bank, SELA, ECLA, and other regional and international organizations, Zafar Mirza, Public health specialist A national consumer protection organisation in Pakistan and combines research pursuits with activism at national and international level, Kent Buse, Assistant Professor of International Health School of Public Health at the Yale University School of Medicine, Nick Drager, Coordinator: Globlization, Cross Sectoral Policies and Human Rights Department of Health and Sustainable Development with the World Health Organisation
  • Edited by Kelley Lee, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Kent Buse, Yale University, Connecticut, Suzanne Fustukian, Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh
  • Book: Health Policy in a Globalising World
  • Online publication: 22 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511489037.004
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  • The public health implications of multilateral trade agreements
    • By M. Kent Ranson, Ph.D. candidate Health Policy Unit of LSHTM, Robert Beaglehole, Professor of Community Health University of Auckland, New Zealand, Carlos M. Correa, Lawyer and Economist; Director of the Master Program on Science and Technology Policy and Management and Director of the postgraduate course on Intellectual Property University of Buenos Aires; Consultant UNCTAD, UNIDO, WHO, FAO, Interamerican Development Bank, INTAL, World Bank, SELA, ECLA, and other regional and international organizations, Zafar Mirza, Public health specialist A national consumer protection organisation in Pakistan and combines research pursuits with activism at national and international level, Kent Buse, Assistant Professor of International Health School of Public Health at the Yale University School of Medicine, Nick Drager, Coordinator: Globlization, Cross Sectoral Policies and Human Rights Department of Health and Sustainable Development with the World Health Organisation
  • Edited by Kelley Lee, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Kent Buse, Yale University, Connecticut, Suzanne Fustukian, Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh
  • Book: Health Policy in a Globalising World
  • Online publication: 22 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511489037.004
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • The public health implications of multilateral trade agreements
    • By M. Kent Ranson, Ph.D. candidate Health Policy Unit of LSHTM, Robert Beaglehole, Professor of Community Health University of Auckland, New Zealand, Carlos M. Correa, Lawyer and Economist; Director of the Master Program on Science and Technology Policy and Management and Director of the postgraduate course on Intellectual Property University of Buenos Aires; Consultant UNCTAD, UNIDO, WHO, FAO, Interamerican Development Bank, INTAL, World Bank, SELA, ECLA, and other regional and international organizations, Zafar Mirza, Public health specialist A national consumer protection organisation in Pakistan and combines research pursuits with activism at national and international level, Kent Buse, Assistant Professor of International Health School of Public Health at the Yale University School of Medicine, Nick Drager, Coordinator: Globlization, Cross Sectoral Policies and Human Rights Department of Health and Sustainable Development with the World Health Organisation
  • Edited by Kelley Lee, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Kent Buse, Yale University, Connecticut, Suzanne Fustukian, Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh
  • Book: Health Policy in a Globalising World
  • Online publication: 22 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511489037.004
Available formats
×