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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.
KeywordsRelationship between trade and health Trade agreements Public health Policy coherence Sustainable development
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