Trade, Labour Markets and Health: A Prospective Policy Analysis of the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Courtney McNamara, Ronald Labonte

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Previous analyses indicate that there are a number of potentially serious health risks associated with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The objective of this work is to provide further insight into the potential health impacts of the TPP by investigating labour market pathways. The impact of the TPP on employment and working conditions is a major point of contention in broader public debates. In public health literature, these factors are considered fundamental determinants of health, yet they are rarely addressed in analyses of trade and investment agreements. We therefore undertake a prospective policy analysis of the TPP through a content analysis of the agreement's Labour Chapter. Provisions of the Chapter are analyzed with reference to the health policy triangle and four main areas through which labour markets influence health: power relations, social policies, employment conditions and working conditions. Findings indicate that implementation of the TPP can have important impacts on health through labour market pathways. While the Labour Chapter is being presented by proponents of the agreement as a vehicle for improvement in labour standards, we find little evidence to support this view. Instead, we find several ways the TPP may weaken employment relations to the detriment of health.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)277-297
    Number of pages21
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


    • health
    • health policy analysis
    • labour markets
    • social policy
    • trade


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