Public health and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Andrew D. Mitchell, Tania Voon, Devon Whittle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) has an ambitious agenda and could radically reshape trade in the Asia-Pacific. At the same time, TPP obligations have the potential to significantly restrict the ability of governments to regulate in the interests of public health. This paper examines the impact the TPP could have on two areas of public health regulation - tobacco control and access to medicines. It concludes that a number of legitimate concerns arise from the known content of the TPP, that the inclusion of a general health exception would be the preferable means of safeguarding the regulatory space of governments in relation to public health, and that the United States' proposals for stronger intellectual property protections be resisted. With negotiations shrouded in secrecy, TPP parties' desires to promote international trade and investment must not overshadow the need of governments to be able to implement sensible and effective public health policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-309
Number of pages31
JournalAsian Journal of International Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes

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