Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health - CPATH

TPP and Public Health 2016
Public Health on Fast Track: to House W&M 4-22-15
Support Our Work!
Campaign: Public Health Voice in Trade Policy
Tobacco Control and the TPP
CPATH on Leaked TPP IP Text
Mexico, Chile on TPP-Tobacco
Tobacco & Trade Consortium 2013
2012: Health Advocates Assert Carve-Out; U.S. Weak TPP/Tobacco Proposal
TPP Forums Jan 2012
Trans Pacific Partnership
Tobacco and Trade Publications
Trade Advisory Committees December 2010
Key Trade Agreements - CPATH Analysis and Commentary
Special 301 Hearings: Change Course!
CPATH at APHA 2009 Trade Advisory Committees
CPATH EVENT Aug. 26 2009: CAFTA and Access to Meds
Trade and Health Forum Program APHA Nov. 2009
About CPATH - Overview
CPATH Article: CAFTA Impact on Meds, Prices
Press Release: CPATH on CAFTA in Health Affairs
CAFTA aumenta los precios de medicamentos
Congressional Hearing on Trade Advisory Committees
Towards Change: Korea; Peru; Public Health Objectives
Trade & Health at APHA 2008
Global Trade Events at APHA November 2007
Thailand's Compulsory Licenses for Medicines
Globalization and Health Resource Center - Overview
Key Issues
CPATH Publications
Related Resources
CPATH Presentations
CPATH at US Social Forum 2007
Monterey Forum 2005
FTAA Forum
Public Health Summary Statements on Free Trade Agreements
Sign-On Statements
Terms of Use
More About CPATH

Welcome to CPATH                       SUPPORT OUR WORK!

The Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health (CPATH) brings a public health voice to the debate on trade and sustainable development. We conduct research, policy analysis and advocacy in the interest of protecting and improving the health of individuals, communities and populations; expanding access to health-related services; and advancing global economic policies that are democratic, sustainable, and socially just. This website provides resources on the links between the global economy and public health priorities.

CPATH Globalization & Health Resource Center serves as a central information resource about the relationships between economic globalization, international trade agreements and economic policy, and public health. It provides timely and relevant reports from CPATH and other organizations, official texts, and links to relevant organizations and publications.
Please contibute to CPATH's work using this secure online link:

Click here to Download complete CPATH Statement on NAFTA submitted to USTR

Summary: Public Health Comments Concerning Proposed U.S.-North American Free Trade Agreement

Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health (CPATH)

Submitted to the U.S. Trade Representative, June 14, 2017


CPATH brings a public health voice to debates on trade and sustainable development, through research, policy analysis, and advocacy. Public Health Objectives below outline recommendations for NAFTA negotiations to safeguard the health of Americans and our trading partners, and promote economically and socially just, democratically controlled, and environmentally sustainable outcomes.  Trade negotiating objectives and rules must complement and safeguard strong domestic policies that reduce economic inequality and strengthen economic and health security.  In contrast, trade policies that would further enrich and empower the already-wealthy will be a bad deal for Americans and for our trading partners.

New Trade Deal: A Smokescreen for Corporate Interests

Glaring inequality is increasing in incomes and wealth between the super-rich, and the majority of the population. Workers experience precarious and low-paying jobs, at the same time as social costs such as health care and education are shifted to individuals.

Ownership of transnational corporations has become more concentrated.  Financial services increasingly dominate the U.S. economy, and its priorities influence U.S. policy, including trade rules. Global trade agreements have contributed to these developments. 

The Trump campaign of 2016 addressed public unease about these trends in part by proposing to change or eliminate NAFTA, including re-imposing tariffs as the key to increasing employment in the U.S.  Wider scrutiny and debate has established that these problems, and likely solutions, are more complex.  However, the Administration’s discussions of proposals for renegotiating NAFTA increasingly echo provisions of the vastly unpopular, corporate-driven Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), roundly abandoned right after the November, 2016, election.

 In other policy arenas, the Administration similarly proposes policies that widen income inequality for the majority of Americans, while reaping huge gains for mega-corporations and the wealthy:

       The budget proposes tax breaks that enrich the already wealthy, while eliminating programs like Meals on Wheels that are vital to Americans in need;

The Administration is rushing to enact other policies that would widen income inequality for the majority of Americans, including cutting health care, and dismantling Dodd-Frank legislation, which attempts to put the brakes on irresponsible maneuvers by banks and financial institutions that generated the Great Recession in 2008, driving millions of Americans into income insecurity.  


Public Health Objectives for the United States-North American Free Trade Agreement [Summary]


1.   Assure democratic participation by public health and transparency in trade policy.


2.   Develop mutually beneficial trade relationships with trade partners that create sustainable economic development in an increasingly interdependent world.


3.   Recognize the legitimate exercise of national, regional and local government sovereignty to protect population health.

  • Ensure that countries do not weaken or reduce, as an encouragement for trade, sound policies that contribute to health and well-being and democracy, including laws on public health, the environment, labor, occupational safety and health, food safety and healthy food supply, human rights, and internet freedom.
  • Eliminate “investor-state” provisions that give foreign corporations the right to file trade disputes based on measures of state and local governments, and that give greater rights to foreign investors than to domestic ones.

4.   Exclude tariff and non-tariff provisions that address vital human services

such as health care, water supply and sanitation, food safety and supply, and education, including licensing and cross- border movement of personnel in these fields.


5.   Exclude tobacco and tobacco products, which are lethal, and for which the public health goal is to reduce consumption, from tariff and nontariff provisions of NAFTA, including advertising, labeling, product regulation and distribution.

We note that the Canadian Free Trade Agreement, Part IV, Article 806, states: This Agreement does not apply to any measure adopted or maintained by a Party relating to tobacco control.” [Adopted April, 2017. Applies to trade among Canadian provinces.]

6.  Exclude alcohol products, which present serious hazards to public health.


7.   Eliminate intellectual property provisions related to pharmaceuticals.  Recognize compulsory licenses for patented pharmaceuticals, parallel importation, and other measures that address high prices and promote access to affordable medicines.

We note that financial pressure to prioritize stock prices also increasingly drives up pharmaceutical prices.




APHA leaders support CPATH Call for Trade Accountability

Bringing a Public Health Voice to Global Trade and Sustainable Development
Ellen R. Shaffer and Joe Brenner, Co-Directors
P.O. Box 29586, San Francisco, CA 94129
phone 415-922-6204