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Glossary on free trade agreements and health part 2: new trade rules and new urgencies in the context of COVID-19
  1. Courtney L McNamara1,
  2. Ronald Labonte2,
  3. Ashley Schram3,
  4. Belinda Townsend3
  1. 1 Department of Sociology and Political Science, Centre for Global Health Inequalities Research (CHAIN), Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
  2. 2 School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3 Menzies Centre for Health Governance, School of Regulation and Global Governance, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Courtney L McNamara, Department of Sociology and Political Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway; courtney.mcnamara{at}


Part 1 of this glossary provided a brief background on the rise of regional/bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) and described the health implications of new trade obligations that figure prominently in current and recent trade negotiations, focusing on those provisions that build on previous agreements of the World Trade Organization (WTO). This approach continues into part 2 of the glossary, which also considers components of FTAs that have no precedent within WTO treaties. Following a broader discussion of how the current political context and the COVID-19 pandemic shape the contemporary trade environment, part 2 considers the main areas of trade and health policy incoherence as well as recommendations to address them.

  • health policy
  • policy
  • public health
  • socio-economic
  • international health

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  • Contributors CM initiated the discussions on the article and coordinated the differing contributions. CM drafted the initial manuscript along with RL, who drafted the initial section on the current political context facilitating and shaping the contemporary trade environment, and BT, who drafted the initial section on overcoming governance problems leading to trade and health policy incoherence. All four authors contributed to revisions of all sections of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding CM is funded by Norges Forskningsråd for her project, 'Trade, Labour Markets and Health' (project number: 274995).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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