Reimagining Trade Agreements for Workers: Lessons from the USMCA
American Journal of International Law Unbound, Vol. 113, 2019, 407.
7 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2020
Date Written: December 9, 2019
A backlash against the post-Cold War order of liberal globalization has taken hold in the rich North Atlantic countries. Concerns about wages, working conditions, and economic opportunity are central to the critique of international trade agreements of the last three decades. While labor rights have progressively been included in trade agreements, they have done little to reshape workers’ well-being and workplace conditions. The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) may signal a pivot to a new model requiring reforms of domestic labor law and other issues important to workers. However, there is much more to be done to rebalance the power between capital and labor in trade agreements. In addition, for the United States and other rich countries, reform at home may be equally important.
Keywords: international trade, international labor law, labor law, globalization, USMCA, TPP
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