The Unhealthy side effects of CETA

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada is the first trade agreement between the EU and a major world economy and the most far-reaching bilateral trade and investment agreement negotiated to date. In the context of increasingly expensive medicines, reduced access to healthcare and the burgeoning weight of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs)1
, it is crucial to ensure that trade deals do not undermine wider societal objectives in the field of health. Unfortunately, CETA threatens to do just that. The deal has substantial side effects for people and public policy making; through investment measures limiting the policy space of governments in the area of public health, tariff elimination, market access commitments, negative listing of services, its lack of recognition of the health-relevant aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ignoring key health risk factors and threats such as alcoholrelated harm or antimicrobial resistance. In short, CETA fails to ensure policy coherence between trade and public health.