Free trade agreements (FTAs) have the declared aim of seeking to increase global trade and promote economic growth. Historically, economic growth has led to improved population health. Yet this link is now weakening, and attention is being focussed on assessing the effect of FTAs on health and the ability of government to mitigate against negative impact.
Within this context, this study presents an assessment of the health impact of the proposed FTA between the United States and the European Union.
The proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and the EU constitutes the largest ever FTA of its kind.
Although the TTIP mandate has recently been made public, access to negotiating texts remains limited and it is apparent that much detail on TTIP is still to be agreed. With this in mind the aims of this rapid evidence assessment are:
- To summarise and critically evaluate available evidence on the health related risks and benefits of TTIP;
- To make an assessment as to the overall health impact that TTIP may be expected to have; and
- To provide guidelines for the European public health community about priorities that they could be focussing on, as they respond to the TTIP negotiating process.
The study is based upon a structured and systematic rapid evidence assessment and a targeted stakeholder engagement process, commissioned to run over an eight-week time period during August and September 2014.