1Menzies Centre for Health Policy, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
2School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Concerns regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have raised awareness about the negative public health impacts of trade and investment agreements. In the past decade, we have learned much about the implications of trade agreements for public health: reduced equity in access to health services; increased flows of unhealthy commodities; limits on access to medicines; and constrained policy space for health. Getting health on the trade agenda continues to prove challenging, despite some progress in moving towards policy coherence. Recent changes in trade and investment agendas highlight an opportunity for public health researchers and practitioners to engage in highly politicized debates about how future economic policy can protect and support equitable public health outcomes. To fulfil this opportunity, public health attention now needs to turn to strengthening policy coherence between trade and health, and identifying how solutions can be implemented. Key strategies include research agendas that address politics and power, and capacity building for both trade and health officials.
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