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Labor Standards: Where Do They Belong on the International Trade Agenda?

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  • Drusilla K. Brown
  • Alan V. Deardorff
  • Robert M. Stern

Abstract

During the past decade, universal labor standards have become the focus of intense debate. Advocates argue from humanitarian concerns and the interests of industrialized-country labor, seeking enforcement with WTO sanctions. Opponents regard labor regulation as a matter of national sovereignty, challenge the effectiveness of trade sanctions, and prefer the ILO emphasis on dialogue, monitoring and technical advice. This paper analyzes the labor standards debate, with specific attention to the analytical underpinnings of universal rules; evidence linking weak labor protections in developing countries to industrialized country wages; and the role of labor standards in WTO negotiations.

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File URL: http://ase.tufts.edu/econ/papers/200113.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0113.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0113

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  27. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M Stern, 2001. "Impacts on NAFTA Members of Multilateral and Regional Trading Arrangements and Initiatives and Harmonization of NAFTA's External Tariffs," Working Papers 471, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
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