Trade rules and practices shape the production of goods and services across the global economy, including health goods and health services, and the production of life across societies, of which health is an integral part. Taking a feminist International Political Economy lens, my article traces the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the trade and health nexus. I argue that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated socio-economic inequalities and the crisis in social reproduction that had characterised the trade and health nexus prior to COVID-19. Yet, no ideational shift has taken place, whereby trade policy makers would conceive of trade as a tool for equitable and sustainable social reproduction. This leaves the exploitative nature of global trade and its ambivalent relationship with health and social reproduction intact. While building back better from COVID-19 requires an ambitious redrawing of global trade relations, I conclude with reforms that trade institutions could apply today.
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 19 Jul 2021|