Labor Standards and the Free Trade Area of the Americas
AbstractRelatively little controversy surrounds three of the four core labor standards - forced labor, discrimination, and child labor. But the right to associate and organize freely and to bargain collectively is more controversial. And the use of trade sanctions to enforce labor standards is most divisive of all. In the context of trade negotiations, attention to labor issues can lower adjustment costs, slow a race to the bottom from the bottom, among developing countries themselves, and increase political support for trade agreements in developed countries. Elliott suggests using a parallel track to negotiate labor issues and link progress in those negotiations more closely to the trade negotiations. She concludes that nothing is to be gained by workers and labor activists keeping sanctions to enforce standards in trade agreements as the focus of their demands. Instead, they should ratchet up the pressure on governments to adopt concrete plans of action for raising labor standards and to finance implementation of those plans.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Peterson Institute for International Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number WP03-7.
Date of creation: Oct 2003
Date of revision:
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
- J80 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - General
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- Kimberly Ann Elliott & Richard B. Freeman, 2003. "Can Labor Standards Improve under Globalization?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 338.
- Chau, Nancy H & Kanbur, Ravi, 2001.
"The Race To the Bottom, From the Bottom,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2687, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Toke Aidt & Zafiris Tzannatos, 2002. "Unions and Collective Bargaining : Economic Effects in a Global Environment," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15241, March.
- Häberli, Christian & Jansen, Marion & Monteiro, José-Antonio, 2012. "Regional trade agreements and domestic labour market regulation," ILO Working Papers 470016, International Labour Organization.
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