Trade, Labour Markets and the Environment
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New trade agreements often include measures promising protection of labour rights and the environment. The section on labour describes how labour rights are said to be protected in such agreements and how (or if) the inclusion of these rights within trade treaties improves labour market outcomes. A key weakness in such provisions is that they become enforceable only if a country lowers its existing labour standards to gain a trade or investment advantage. The section on the environment reaches a similar conclusion. Although having some potential and healthful value, the protections such chapters are said to afford remain secondary to trade concerns. This chapter considers the broader question: are trade treaties the best place in which to locate or enforce labour and environmental protection measures?
KeywordsLabour markets and trade Labour rights Environmental treaties Environmental protection Trade-related labour and environmental disputes
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