The emergence of mega-regional trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) threatens to fragment global trade governance in fundamental ways. An important question, yet so far under-explored, is how the rising powers currently being excluded from the mega- regionals, such as China, view this new development in global economic governance. This article intends to fill this gap in literature from a Chinese perspective. Specifically, this article addresses the following questions: why has China changed its initial suspicious attitude to a more neutral stance towards the TPP recently? What are the short-term and long-term effects of the TPP on China’s economic growth and geo-political influence? How will China deal with a myriad of challenges posed by the TPP going forward, be it in or outside the TPP? After the analysis of a range of relevant political, economic and legal factors, I submit that the Chinese government has adopted what I call a ‘tripartite strategy’ towards the TPP. What remains to be seen is whether this tripartite strategy provides the best roadmap for China’s further integration into the global economy.'Trade Policy and Public Health' by Sharon Friel, Libby Hattersley and Ruth Townsend in (2015) 36 Annual Review of Public Health 325-344 comments
Twenty-first-century trade policy is complex and affects society and population health in direct and indirect ways. Without doubt, trade policy influences the distribution of power, money, and resources between and within countries, which in turn affects the natural environment; people's daily living conditions; and the local availability, quality, affordability, and desirability of products (e.g., food, tobacco, alcohol, and health care); it also affects individuals' enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health. In this article, we provide an overview of the modern global trade environment, illustrate the pathways between trade and health, and explore the emerging twenty-first-century trade policy landscape and its implications for health and health equity. We conclude with a call for more interdisciplinary research that embraces complexity theory and systems science as well as the political economy of health and that includes monitoring and evaluation of the impact of trade agreements on health.