Withdrawal from TPP: What It Means for the US Food System

Cargo ship, 1973

The public health community and the current administration align on very few issues – and yet the Republican president’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) might be a win for food systems and public health. Could it be?

A trade agreement such as the TPP is huge in scope—it affects many different stakeholders in different ways. In 2014 and 2015, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future bloggers explored negative implications on issues such as antibiotic resistance, food sovereignty, and the ability of corporations to sue countries whose policies affect their profits. Read More >

How the TPP Trade Deal Could Affect Food and Public Health

2015-stop-TPPOne of the most famous—or infamous—Supreme Court rulings this century has been Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in 2010. This “corporations are people” ruling granted U.S. corporations the same right to free speech as individuals, effectively removing previous restrictions on corporate campaign donations, a form of political speech. Read More >

What does trans-Atlantic trade have to do with antibiotic resistance?

stop-taftaTo understand what’s at stake with a forthcoming trade treaty, we can take a look at a tale from Down Under. The story of Philip Morris Asia Limited v. The Commonwealth of Australia begins in 1993, when the governments of Australia and Hong Kong signed a trade agreement. Fast forward to 2011, when Australia passed the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act, a groundbreaking public health measure that requires all cigarettes to be sold in dull, brown packages, with no company logos. It was the world’s first legislation to remove branding from cigarette boxes. Philip Morris’s response was to calculate the law’s impact on profits and sue for damages. The arbitration with Philip Morris is ongoing. Read More >