'Best Practice' in the Regulation of International Labor Standards: Lessons of the U.S.-Cambodia Textile Agreement
20 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2007
International trade agreements have been widely criticized for their failure to promote effective regulation of international labor rights and standards. This article assesses the singular exception to this failure: the US Cambodia Textile Agreement (UCTA). The article evaluates evidence of the impact of this international trade agreement on labor standards in Cambodia's apparel industry, concluding that, although monitoring procedures are imperfect and labor standards compliance is uneven, the UCTA provides a "best practice" model for the global governance of international labor standards. Highlighted in this model are the importance of improved market access as an incentive to improve labor standards, and of credible, high quality, independent monitoring of factory-level labor standards by the International Labor Organization.
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