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Alisa diCaprio (2004), "Are Labor Provisions Protectionist ? : Evidence from Nine Labor-Augmented U.S. Trade Arrangements", Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal, vol. 26 (1) ; 1-34

18 mars 2004

This article explores whether labor provisions in U.S. trade arrangements have been used by protectionist interests to block imports. The first section gives a brief historical background on the four types of worker rights provisions that are found in modern U.S . trade arrangements : 1) unilateral trade preferences, 2) bilateral trade agreements, 3) free trade agreements, and 4) "other" provisions (i.e., provisions that do not fit within the first three categories). The second section analyzes the extent to which the labor provisions are a protectionist mechanism to block imports. Here the author examines the stage at which a labor provision is put into a trade arrangement, whether it be in the initiation, design, or actual implementation stage. She argues that it is misleading to characterize labor provisions as protectionist when the reason for their inclusion is to advocate human rights in general or when they are used as a threat ( i.e., threatened withdrawal of benefits or monetary sanctions), rather than actually implemented. The author concludes that the role of labor protective provisions will probably diminish because the humanitarian and labor groups that advocate them are becoming disillusioned with the leverage they provide and are seeking methods with more immediate results.

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