Published online by Cambridge University Press: 04 February 2021
Concerns about health are not new aspects of trade policies and have long been part of trade negotiations. It is also known that failures in public health policies can substantially and adversely affect trade. The economic costs of global epidemics have been increasing, but more important is that prevention of epidemics requires both functional public health measures at national borders and functional health systems. Whereas health policies and trade policies have mutually compatible and strengthening aspects, they are marred by important conflicts of interests. In this chapter, I outline ethical issues and questions that relate to these conflicts and the importance of considering trade policies not merely as transnational policies but also as a component of global legal development and governance in relation to rights, redistribution, and regulatory measures. These have consequences not only across countries and among international organizations and actors but also for the balance between public policies and interests and those of national and increasingly global corporate actors and interest groups.
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