Trade, Investment and Health

The O’Neill Institute Initiative on Trade, Investment and Health aims to bridge the gap between public health and international trade and investment law. The initiative is focused on the effects of trade and investment agreements on domestic regulatory autonomy.

The initiative fosters legal and multi-disciplinary scholarship on the intersection of trade, investment and health. The initiative also disseminates knowledge about international trade and investment law into the broader public health community, to enhance the ability of health lawyers and policy-makers to engage with international trade and investment agreements. Read More »

Trade and Public Health

Cover of: Trade and Public Health

Non-communicable diseases, associated with risk factors such as tobacco consumption, poor diet, and alcohol use, represent a growing health burden around the world. The seriousness of non-communicable diseases is reflected in the adoption of international instruments such as the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health; and the WHO Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol. In line with these instruments, states are beginning to use measures such as taxes, restrictions on marketing, product regulation, and labeling measures for public health purposes. Learn More ›

Tobacco Product Regulation and The WTO

Cover of: Tobacco Product Regulation and The WTO

In September 2011, the World Trade Organization (WTO) released the report of a panel tasked with considering a complaint brought by Indonesia concerning prohibitions on certain flavored tobacco products implemented by the United States (US). The panel concluded that the US violated WTO law and recommended that the United States be asked to bring its laws into conformity with WTO law. The United States appealed the panel's decision. The Appellate Body of the WTO upheld the panel report on April 4, 2012. This briefing paper provides a basic overview of the Appellate Body's report and examines the implications for tobacco control and public health more generally. Learn More ›

The Political Economy of Tobacco Control in Brazil: Protecting Public Health in a Complex Policy Environment

Cover of: The Political Economy of Tobacco Control in Brazil

This report was prepared in collaboration with the American Cancer Society and the Centro de Estudos sobre Tabaco e Saúde at FIOCRUZ. The report examines the following five issues (1) opportunities and challenges for Brazil's national coordinating mechanism on implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, (2) implications of new trade agreements for tobacco control in Brazil, (3) investment and fiscal incentives in the Brazilian tobacco sector, (4) the effects of the WHO Framework Convention on Brazilian regulation and vice-versa, and (5) questions of institutional design for health regulatory agencies.


Recent Publications and Papers

Bialous, S., V.L. da Costa e Silva, J. Drope, R. Lencucha, B. McGrady and A.P. Richter. 2014. "The Political Economy of Tobacco Control in Brazil: Protecting Public Health in a Complex Policy Environment". Rio de Janeiro: Centro de Estudos sobre Tabaco e Saúde, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública/FIOCRUZ, and Atlanta: American Cancer Society.

Anne Marie Thow and Benn McGrady "Protecting Policy Space for Public Health Nutrition in an Era of International Investment Agreements", Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2014; 92: 139–145

Joy Chavez, Jenina, Jeffrey Drope, Raphael Lencucha, and Benn McGrady. The Political Economy of Tobacco Control in the Philippines: Trade, Foreign Direct Invetment and Taxation. Quezon City: American Cancer Society, 2014.

Benn McGrady and Alexandra Jones, Tobacco Control and Beyond: The Broader Implications of US – Clove Cigarettes for Non-Communicable Diseases, American Journal of Law and Medicine, 39(2&3), 265–289

B. McGrady, Legalization as an Institutional Choice in the Context of Research and Development, Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2012; 90: 794–794A

B. McGrady, Revisiting TRIPS and Trademarks: The Case of Tobacco, TDM 5 (2012).

Confronting the Tobacco Epidemic in a New Era of Trade and Investment Liberalization

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Recent Activities
  • 18-19 August 2014 In partnership with the American Cancer Society and the Centro de Estudos sobre Tabaco e Saúde at FIOCRUZ we provided a workshop for government officials and civil society in Brazil to coincide with the release of a joint publication on the Political Economy of Tobacco Control in Brazil.
  • 9 July 2014 Benn McGrady spoke at the Young Professionals Forum for Action on NCDs: The Impact of International Trade on Health on the intersection of trade and investment policy with prevention and control of non-communicable disease.
  • 6-7 May 2014 In partnership with the American Cancer Society and Action on Economic Reforms we provided a workshop for government officials and civil society in the Philippines to coincide with the release of a joint publication on the Political Economy of Tobacco Control in the Philippines.
  • 2-3 April 2014 Inter-Ministerial Consultation on Trade and Tobacco, Kingston, Jamaica. In collaboration with the World Health Organization and the Pan-American Health Organization, we provided technical assistance to the Jamaican government on the intersection of their national trade and tobacco control policies.
  • 6-7 March 2014 Benn McGrady presented on international trade law issues at a workshop on trade and tobacco control organized by the European Commission for EU Member States

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