AFTA after NAFTA: Regional Trade Blocs and the Propagation of Environmental and Labor Standards
30 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2008
Date Written: June, 23 2008
Acknowledging the special difficulty of managing the politically critical linkage of free trade with labor welfare and environmental protection across the Pacific Basin, this Article argues that, despite the differences between various regional free trade groupings, regional development of this linkage presents distinct advantages over the GATT model of global, multilateral standards. It examines the regional model that evolved as a product of controversies over NAFTA (and particularly the dispute resolution model originated in the NAFTA Side Agreements). The Article demonstrates how this model can be drawn upon to facilitate constructive linkage of trade liberalization with environmental and labor welfare, to meet the challenges for developing a Pacific Basin free trade area.
Keywords: international trade, regional free trade agreements, dispute resolution, environmental protection, labor standards, linkage, ASEAN Free Trade Area, North American Free Trade Agreement, side agreements
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