Sustainability in Trade and Investment Agreements

  • Evita SchmiegEmail author
Part of the Natural Resource Management in Transition book series (NRMT, volume 2)


This chapter will examine the links between sustainability and trade, and explore how sustainability issues are dealt with in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), with special emphasis on labour issues. Recently, the discussion of whether FTAs contribute to or rather undermine countries’ efforts to improve the sustainability of their economies has become very controversial. Sustainability issues have not been dealt with explicitly in Free Trade Agreements for a long time. Efforts by the US and the EU to put labour standards on the agenda of the world trade negotiations beginning in 2001 failed due to the resistance of developing countries. They feared at the time that the issue would be used for protectionist purposes only, and would hinder the use of their comparative advantages, namely their low labour costs.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SWP – Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (German Institute for International and Security Affairs)BerlinGermany

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