Linkages of Trade, Investment and Labour in Preferential Trade Agreements: Between Untapped Potential and Structural Insufficiencies

  • Henner GöttEmail author
Part of the European Yearbook of International Economic Law book series (EUROYEAR, volume 10)


Labour provisions are an increasingly regular component of preferential trade agreements (PTAs). The overall goal of these provisions is to enhance the protection and promotion of labour standards in the context of trade and investment liberalization by creating trade-labour and investment-labour linkages within the PTA. This chapter examines the scope and content of contemporary trade-labour and investment-labour linkages in some of the major latest-generation PTAs, analyzing both substantive provisions and institutional mechanisms for their implementation.

The chapter argues that the examined substantive provisions have considerable potential for the protection and promotion of labour standards in the context of trade and investment liberalization. However, whether this potential can be tapped largely depends on how they are implemented. A recurring issue in this respect is that the pertinent implementation mechanisms for labour provisions suffer from structural insufficiencies that persist even in latest-generation PTAs. Against this background, there is a need for a systematic and structural revision of PTA labour provisions, for which the chapter provides some suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of International and European Law, Jean Monnet Chair for European Union and Global Sustainable Development Through LawGöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Department of International Economic and Environmental LawGeorg-August-University GöttingenGöttingenGermany

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