The 'Helping Hand' in Trade Agreements: An Analysis of and Proposal for Labor Provisions in U.S. Free Trade Agreements
53 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2010
Date Written: 2004
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick claims that the “administration’s trade policy promotes economic growth at home and abroad, while improving labor...conditions overseas.” Defending recent trade agreements he asserts that to “continue producing results that improve lives home and abroad, we need to extend not a clenched fist but a helping hand.” What kind of “helping hand” is the U.S. is extending? To answer this question, Part II of this article provides some background about the call for enforceable international labor standards; Part III discusses the substance of the core labor standards; Part IV analyzes labor provisions in recent U.S. free trade agreements; and, to the extent that these provisions fall short of fully fulfilling the labor objectives set forth by Congress, Part V proposes actual labor provisions that the United States should include in its free trade agreements.
Keywords: Helping Hand, Trade Agreements, Free Trade
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation