Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-xtgtn Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-21T14:47:44.041Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Core Labour Standards and the WTO

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2023

Sean Turnell*
Affiliation:
Economics Department, Macquarie University

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to suggest ways in which core labour standards can be incorporated into the WTO. Though regarded by some as simply a vehicle for protectionism, the campaign for core labour standards is based on sound economics that extends the logic of trade regulation to the international dimension of labour. Getting agreement on core labour standards and enforcing them will be a difficult task, but one best conducted through the WTO using a joint ILO/WTO enforcement mechanism. It is argued that such a task will bring much-needed legitimacy to the WTO, and increase the chances that it can deliver a world of prosperous, open and fair trade.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s) 2002

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Australia, Parliament (1948) United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment held at Havana, Cuba, 21st November, 1947, to 24th March, 1948, Final Act and Related Documents, Parliamentary Paper No. 79, Canberra.Google Scholar
Bhagwati, J. (1994) ‘A view from Academia’, in Schoepfle, G. and Swinnerton, K. (Eds), International Labour Standards and Global Integration: Proceedings of a Symposium, US Department of Labor, Washington D.C. Google Scholar
Bhagwati, J. (1995) ‘Trade liberalisation and “fair trade” demands: Addressing the environmental and labour standards issues’, The World Economy, 18, 745759.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Capling, A.M. (2000) ‘The “Enfant Terrible”: Australia and the reconstruction of the multilateral trade system, 1946–48’, Australian Economic History Review, 40, 121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Capling, A.M. (2001) Australia and the Global Trade System: From Havana to Seattle, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
Charnovitz, S. (1987) ‘The influence of international labour standards on the world trading regime. A historical overview’, International Labour Review, 126 (5), 565584.Google Scholar
Charnovitz, S. (1996) ‘Promoting higher labor standards’, in Roberts, B. (Ed), New Forces in the World Economy, MIT Press, Cambridge (Mass.), 403426.Google Scholar
Ehrenberg, D.S. (1996) ‘An ILO-GATT/WTO enforcement regime for international labour rights’, in Compa, L.A. and Diamond, S.F. (Eds), Human Rights, Labor Rights, and International Trade, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 163180.Google Scholar
Elmslie, B., Milberg, W. (1996) ‘Free trade and social dumping: Lessons from the regulation of US interstate commerce’, Challenge, May-June.Google Scholar
Fedderson, C.T. (1998) ‘Focusing on substantive law in international economic relations: The public morals of GATT’s Article XX (a) and “conventional” rules of interpretation’, Minnesota Journal of Global Trade, 7 (1), 76ff.Google Scholar
Gardner, R.N. (1956) Sterling-Dollar Diplomacy, Clarendon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
Haworth, N., Hughes, S. (1998) ‘Death of a social clause? Reconstructing the trade and labour standards debate in the Asia-Pacific’, Paper presented to the International Conference on Labour Standards and Human Rights, University of California, Berkely, January 1998.Google Scholar
Human Rights Watch (2001) ‘Trading away Rights: The unfulfilled promise of NAFTA’s labor side agreement’, Human Rights Watch, 13, 156.Google Scholar
ICFTU (1996) Outcome of the WTO Ministerial Meeting, Singapore, Circular no. 69, 20 December 1996.Google Scholar
ICFTU (1999) Fighting for Workers’ Human Rights in the Global Economy, internet posting, www.icftu.org.Google Scholar
ILO (1998) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and Follow-Up, International Labour Office, Geneva.Google Scholar
ILO (2000a) Review of Annual Reports Under the Follow-Up to the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, International Labour Office, Geneva.Google Scholar
ILO (2000b) Your Voice at Work: Global Report Under the Follow-Up to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, International Labour Office, Geneva.Google Scholar
Krueger, A.O. (1990) ‘Free trade is the best policy’, in Lawrence, R.Z. and Schultze, C.L. (Eds), An American Trade Strategy: Options for the 1990s, Brookings Institution, Washington D.C. Google Scholar
Leary, V.A. (1997) ‘The WTO and the Social Clause: Post-Singapore’, European Journal of International Law, 8 (1), 118122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mah, J.S. (1997) ‘Core labour standards and export performance in developing countries’, World Economy, 20 (6), 773785.Google Scholar
Maskus, K.E. (1997) ‘Should core labor standards be imposed through international trade policy?’, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, no.1817, Washington DC.Google Scholar
Mehmet, O., Mendes, E., Sinding, R. (1999) Towards a Fair Global Labour Market, Routhledge, London.Google Scholar
Nyland, C., Castle, R. (1998) ‘The economic analysis of employee rights’, Paper presented to the International Conference on Labour Standards and Human Rights, University of California, Berkely, January 1998.Google Scholar
OECD (1996) Trade, Employment and Labour Standards: A Study of Core Workers’ Rights and International Trade, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris.Google Scholar
OECD (2000) International Trade and Core Labour Standards, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris.Google Scholar
Palley, T.I. (1999) The Economic Case for International Labour Standards: Theory and Some Evidence, mimeo, AFL-CIO, Washington DC.Google Scholar
Rodrik, D. (1997) Has Globalism Gone Too Far?, Institute for International Economics, Washington DC.Google Scholar
Samet, A. (2000) ‘The labor dimension and the WTO’, Economic Perspectives, On-Line Journal of the U.S. Department of State, 5 (1), February, 1618.Google Scholar
Sapir, A. (1995) ‘The interaction between labour standards and international trade policy’, The World Economy, 18, 791803.Google Scholar
Srinivasan, T.N. (1996) ‘International trade and labour standards from an economic perspective’, in van Dijck, P. and Faber, G. (Eds), Challenges in the New World Trade Organisation, Kluwer Law International, Amsterdam, 219243.Google Scholar
Stiglitz, J. (2000) Democratic Development as the Fruits of Labor, Keynote Address, Industrial Relations Research Association, January, Boston.Google Scholar
Trebilcock, M.J., Howse, R. (1999) The Regulation of International Trade, 2nd Edn., Routledge, London.Google Scholar
Turnell, S.R. (1999) Monetary Reformers, Amateur Idealists and Keynesian Crusaders: Australian Economists’ International Advocacy, 1925–50, Ph.D Dissertation, Macquarie University, Sydney.Google Scholar
World Bank (2001) Global Economic Prospects and the Developing Countries 2001, World Bank, Washington DC.Google Scholar