Labour Provisions in EU and US Mega-regional Trade Agreements: Rhetoric and Reality

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The EU and the US have long called for the linking of trade and labour standards in trade agreements at both the multilateral and bilateral level. This article examines their practice of including labour provisions in trade agreements, with a pajavascript:void(0);rticular focus on recent attempts to include such provisions on so-called “mega-regionals”, which were presented by their proponents as providing the benchmark for labour protection in future trade agreements. It discusses the rationale behind the inclusion of such provisions and their practical limitations, and examines the extent to which mega-regionals address these limitations. It is argued that whilst the EU and the US have been keen advocates for trade-labour linkages, there has also been an unwillingness to convert this rhetoric into practice, raising questions about the extent of their commitment to these values.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-253
JournalInternational and Comparative Law Quarterly
Issue number1
Early online date04 Jan 2018
Publication statusEarly online date - 04 Jan 2018


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