Labor Standards and International Trade
There is a wide disparity of views on issues of international labor standards. Labor and social activists are concerned about the increased imports from countries in which labor standards are ostensibly not enforced at a sufficiently high level. They fear that these imports will be detrimental to wages and working conditions in the industrialized importing countries. The purpose of this paper is to explore these different views and the available options for addressing the issues involved. The paper begins with the definition and scope of labor standards, then turns to theoretical aspects of the economic effects of labor standards. These are followed by a summary of the available empirical evidence. Global, regional, national/unilateral, and other arrangements for the monitoring and enforcement of labor standards are then discussed.
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