IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

How China's Employment Problems Became Trade Problems: China, Labour Law, and the Rule of Law

Listed author(s):
  • Susan Ariel Aaronson


    (Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University)

In this article, I focus on the potential trade spillovers of Chinese policies to maintain employment. Chinese leaders are determined to maintain employment and have long ignored employment laws that could empower workers. But in 2007, China reformed its labor laws and allowed wide public comment. The new laws enhanced protections for workers, but the consensus among scholars, NGOs, and the US State Department is that these labor laws, like earlier laws, are unevenly and rarely enforced. I argue that Chinese failure to enforce these laws breachits WTO obligations. WTO members could use GATT Article XXIII, which establishes a "right of redress" for changes in domestic policy that systematically erode market access commitments even if no explicit GATT rule has been violated. Used creatively, this strategy could enable WTO member states to encourage China to do a better job of enforcing its labour laws.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy in its series Working Papers with number 2010-11.

in new window

Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Publication status: Published in NCCR Trade Regulations, 01 Feb 2010
Handle: RePEc:gwi:wpaper:2010-11
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gwi:wpaper:2010-11. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kyle Renner)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.