Is free trade bad for our health?

The comments section is closed.

  • Tom Closson says:

    Canada is a trading country. There are many downsides for Canada and other countries with protectionist attitudes and policies. This article would have been more balanced if the authors had discussed the upsides of freer trade. I suggest that they read the Great Convergence by Richard Baldwin. There are many more people in this world who live above the poverty line because of globalization and freer trade.

    • Brent says:

      A very large proportion of the world lives on very little per day. The World Bank reported a success in 2005 that the number living on $1.25 US a day had shrunk between 1981 and 2005 to 1.4 billion people. At the time they did not account for the increase now earning around $2.00 US a day. Depending on where you live $2.00 US a day could be associated with far more horrific living conditions.
      The authors of this article did not criticize trade. Few people would argue that trade is inherently negative, but many are speaking out against trade agreements that give powerful companies so much leverage over nation states, especially poor ones. They have also required that poorer countries remove price controls and import taxes, while heavily subsidized exports allow richer countries (or poor countries that lease their land to multinational corporations) to be able to undercut the markets. This does not exemplify free(er) trade for many nations.


Jia Hu


Jia Hu is a Public Health & Preventive Medicine resident at the University of Toronto and a co-chair of the Public Health Physicians Resident’s council.

Yassen Tcholakov


Yassen Tcholakov is a Public Health & Preventive Medicine resident at McGill University and co-chair of the Public Health Physicians Resident’s council.

Aamir Bharmal


Aamir Bharmal is a medical health officer with Fraser Health and a clinical assistant professor at the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia.

Republish this article

Republish this article on your website under the creative commons licence.

Learn more