A Development Approach to Trade and Labor Regimes
35 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2010
Date Written: July 1, 2010
While the World Trade Organization has effectively rejected the linkage of labor and trade at the multilateral level, labor provisions have become a standard component of U.S. bilateral and regional free trade agreements. How these provisions ought to be designed, however, continues to be a subject of intense debate. This Article argues that trade and labor regimes should be oriented toward catalyzing and reinforcing the development functions of labor regulation, and toward creating institutions that further labor-development objectives. These objectives include expanding worker capabilities and promoting democracy and citizenship both in the workplace and in the nation-state. My goals in this Article, however, are broader than promoting a particular approach to trade and labor regimes. I also seek to place the subject of labor regulation, both domestic and transnational, more squarely into the development discourse, and conversely place development into the labor regulation discourse.
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