PETRA’s vision is to bring together experts in economics, environment (climate change, sustainable development, planetary health), law, public health, and public policy to look at how trade and investment agreements affect the health and wellbeing of the population in the UK.

1. Link researchers across the different disciplines of trade, law, public health, economics, the environment (climate change, sustainable development, and planetary health) public policy and sustainable development so that they can develop strategic public health measures.

2. Connect researchers in the prevention of non-communicable diseases, (such as the prevention of smoking, reducing the harm associated with the consumption of alcohol and ultra-processed foods, and improving air quality) so that they can work collectively on health aspects of trade agreements.

3. Create a platform to discuss how research evidence affects international standards in areas such as food, tobacco, alcohol, and environment.

4. Link researchers with third sector organisations and the Governments of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to develop a sustainable community of interest that informs public health policy across the UK.

5. Develop research and development collaborations on trade and health between academic disciplines, third sector and government users and international expertise.

6. Inform the training and development of researchers in the subject of trade and health.

7. Connect expert international researchers and practitioners with researchers and potential users within PETRA and wider audiences in order to make the best use of scarce resources.

Workstreams and themes

PETRA has three key strands of work:

  1. Evidence development and implementation: set up a new programme of interdisciplinary research and development on the use of trade and investment agreements to tackle non-communicable diseases.
  2. Stakeholder engagement: build a network that brings together international expertise in economics, public health, environment and sustainable development, law, and public policy so that academia, third sector organisations and policymakers work together on issues of trade and investment agreements and non-communicable diseases.
  3. Education and training: improve knowledge and understanding among public health professionals in order to identify and exploit the opportunities in trade and investment agreements to improve population health.

Diagram shows how PETRA’s three themes are designed to produced evidence-based priorities in research & development, increase collaboration on trade and health research, and increase the ability to investigate the potential of trade and investment agreements to improve population health.