Is Globalization Finally Re-Balancing? Novel Ways of Leveling the Playing Field for Labor

13 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2019

See all articles by Joost Pauwelyn

Joost Pauwelyn

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID); Georgetown University Law Centre

Date Written: September 16, 2019

Abstract

Globalization as well as global governance, especially since the 1990s, has suffered from an imbalance to the detriment of labor, and in favor of the free flow of goods, services and capital (benefitting disproportionately capital as compared to labor). More recently, however, some re-balancing may be occurring: less liberalization and protection of cross-border trade and investment flows; more protection of labor. This contribution offers a number of novel, unorthodox instruments that have emerged or have been discussed or proposed that may slowly “level the playing field” in favor of labor. Some are (i) focused on liability of multinational parent or sourcing companies, others (ii) target the traded product (be it by means of import duties or income tax adjustments), yet others (iii) concentrate on work or the worker him or herself (anti-trust enforcement in favor of workers; construing “data as labor” or putting in place mechanisms allowing for “tele-migration”). These avenues are novel in that they are not focused on employers in the production country, nor centered around ILO conventions with labor commitments on host states and relatively soft compliance mechanisms. Indeed, most of these instruments are market- or technology-based, hard-law instruments embedded in domestic law or arbitration, or in international organizations or treaties outside of the ILO.

Keywords: globalization, global governance, labor protection, multinational companies, ILO

Suggested Citation

Pauwelyn, Joost, Is Globalization Finally Re-Balancing? Novel Ways of Leveling the Playing Field for Labor (September 16, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3474333 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3474333

Joost Pauwelyn (Contact Author)

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) ( email )

PO Box 136
Geneva, Geneva CH-1211
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://graduateinstitute.ch

Georgetown University Law Centre ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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