ANU convenes capacity building roundtable on trade and health

September 30, 2019: The School of Regulation and Global Governance at Australian National University convened a capacity building roundtable on September 6th that addressed the impact that trade and investment agreements have on health and health policy.

In a context where noncommunicable diseases such as coronary heart disease and lung cancer are the cause of nine out of ten deaths in Australia, the roundtable brought together academics and advocates, with an interest in health policy, including AFTINET, to identify the challenges that trade and investment rules pose to the development of comprehensive and effective health policies including:

  • The impact that trade liberalisation can have on increasing consumption of harmful commodities
  • Investor-state dispute settlement and regulatory harmonisation provisions increase opportunities for corporations to influence the policy and regulation
  • Intellectual property rights that extend pharmaceutical monopolies, delaying access to cheaper medicines and thus delaying treatment

Participants agreed to share information, work together to build trade literacy in the public health sector and identify opportunities to challenge the current approach to trade policy.