IISD in the news

The CPTPP trade deal is a major threat to public health and warrants a health impact assessment

The UK government has joined one of the world’s largest free trade agreements, known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The CPTPP is not a new trade agreement waiting to be negotiated, but an already active one among 11 Pacific Rim countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam). Joining the CPTPP commits the UK to several rules concerning trade in goods and services that have important implications for health. Although the US is not a member of the CPTPP, the agreement evolved from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which initially included—and was shaped by—the US before President Trump withdrew the country from the deal in 2017. As such, many provisions, and even entire chapters, of the CPTPP are near carbon copies of other free trade deals negotiated by the US. But despite how much alarm was raised over the potential health effects of a free trade agreement with the US, there has been little discussion of the public health implications of the UK’s accession to this new deal.

April 12, 2023

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