Will the next generation of preferential trade and investment agreements undermine prevention of noncommunicable diseases? a prospective policy analysis of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement
The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is one of a new generation of 'deep' preferential trade and investment agreements that will extend many of the provisions seen in previous agreements. This paper presents a prospective policy analysis of the likely text of the TPPA, with reference to nutrition policy space. Specifically, we analyse how the TPPA may constrain governments' policy space to implement the 'policy options for promoting a healthy diet' in the World Health Organization's Global Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) 2013-2020. This policy analysis suggests that if certain binding commitments are made under the TPPA, they could constrain the ability of governments to protect nutrition policy from the influence of vested interests, reduce the range of interventions available to actively discourage consumption of less healthy food (and to promote healthy food) and limit governments' capacity to implement these interventions, and reduce resources available for nutrition education initiatives. There is scope to protect policy space by including specific exclusions and/or exceptions during negotiation of trade and investment agreements like the TPPA, and by strengthening global health frameworks for nutrition to enable them to be used as reference during disputes in trade fora.