Part of the Palgrave Studies in Public Health Policy Research book series (PSPHPR)


This chapter introduces readers to the ambivalent relationship between trade and health and explains why understanding this relationship, along with the complex web of trade and investment rules that has developed since World War II, is important for protecting and promoting health. It explains the purpose and intended audience of the book and its layout. The main pathways by which trade agreements can affect health and some of the problems with trade policy-making processes are briefly outlined, in preparation for more in-depth exploration in subsequent chapters. The idea of policy coherence between trade and health policy is briefly introduced and some of the challenges to achieving it. The chapter finishes by explaining the approach taken in the book and its multidisciplinary basis.


Relationship between trade and health Trade agreements Public health Policy coherence Sustainable development 


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    Smith A. An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations. London: Strahan & Cadell; 1776. p. 1146.Google Scholar
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    United Nations General Assembly. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015: transforming our world: the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. A/RES/70/1 [Internet]. 2015, 21 October [cited 2019, May 27].
  3. 3.
    United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 17: revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development [Internet]. United Nations; n.d. [cited 2019, May 27].

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Psychology and Public HealthLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Epidemiology and Public HealthUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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