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Foreign trade organizations

Trade :

The Undervalued Driver of Regional Integration in Latin America
Publisher: 
GIGA
City: 
Hamburg
Volume, number, page: 
n.5 , pp.1-10.
Abstract: 
Many regional organisations in Latin America are currently in crisis. Trade agreements, however, have made progress in the region. Today, 80 per cent of intra-regional trade is already under preferences. In March 2017 several international financial organisations – the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) – each independently proposed the creation of a Latin American and Caribbean free trade area

Social Standards in Bilateral and Regional Trade and Investment Agreements

Instruments, Enforcement, and Policy Options for Trade Unions
Publisher: 
FES
City: 
Geneva
Volume, number, page: 
n.16, pp.
Category: 
Abstract: 
Despite efforts of the ILO, no viable multilateral labor rights regime has been established. At the same time, an increasingly global economy requires such regimes in order to prevent ruinous competition between countries competing in similar product markets on the basis of a similar set of production factors. Particularly if cheap labor is one of these factors, systematic violations of labor rights may be used as source of competitive advantages, even if such advantages are marginal. So-called ‘core labor rights’ can enable domestic actors to fight for improved standards.
Unilateral labor rights provisions do exist in the Generalized System of Preferences of the United States and the European Union, and have been applied with some success. However, attempts of the international labor movement to establish more enforceable multilateral labor rights provisions at the WTO have failed so far. Civil society actors have therefore stepped up their efforts to push individual transnational
enterprises to adopt so-called voluntary codes of conduct, with mixed (and limited) success.
A more recent strategy is the inclusion of labor rights provisions in bilateral or regional trade and investment agreements. With the multilateral trade process stalling, the governments of developed countries are moving toward bilateral and regional negotiations, where they have more bargaining power. Also, the value of unilateral trade preference schemes has decreased due to multilateral liberalization. Labor rights provisions in bilateral or regional agreements may thus be seen as a promis-ing strategy for improving compliance regarding core labor rights.
Specific labor rights provisions have been included in several agreements negotiated by the U.S., and more general provisions are to be found in agreements of the EU. Most U.S. provisions are effectively limited to the commitment of parties to enforce domestic labor law. However, there are notable exceptions in the agreements with Cambodia and Jordan, which could serve as examples for future labor rights provisions. In EU bilateral agreements, the focus is clearly on general human rights, development issues, technical cooperation and political dialogue, rather than on specific and enforceable labor rights provisions.
In addition to the problematic subordination of labor rights decisions to foreign policy objectives, there are two main problems for even the strongest labor rights provisions: First, their effective enforcement relies on strong local actors; yet it is the absence or weakness of such actors that makes external pressure necessary in the first place. Second, labor relations are among the most political domestic institutions, and resistance to external pressure can be expected not just in cases of systematic violations of core labor rights.

Multipolarity and the Future of Regionalism :

Latin America and Beyond
Publisher: 
GIGA
City: 
Hamburg
Volume, number, page: 
n.264
Category: 
Abstract: 
This paper inquires into the effects of an emerging multipolar world on the international institution of regionalism. While IR scholarship has been making a strong case for the regionalization of world politics since the 1990s, the fact that most of the rising powers are also the sole regional powers of their home regions has led some scholars to argue that the advent of multipolarity can only strengthen this general trend toward a more regionalized international order. In this contribution, I challenge these arguments by proposing an alternative way of thinking about how ultipolarity is developing. The implications of this interpretation are that the emergence of multipolarity may actually generate powerful centrifugal forces within regions, which would have adverse effects on the known forms of regionalism that regional groupings have been implementing thus far. This applies particularly to the global South, where intraregional economic interdependencies tend to be weak. The proposition is tested by examining empirical findings across several regions and through a case study

Decoupling Trade from Politics:

The EU and Region-Building in the Andes
City: 
Roma
Volume, number, page: 
18 p.
Category: 
Considered Countries: 
Abstract: 
In its external relations, the EU advances regional cooperation as a successful means of achieving peace and prosperity. In doing so, the EU promotes its own model as the most successful case of regional integration. A wide-reaching set of instruments, spanning from trade to political dialogue and aid, is used to promote regional cooperation and integration. Noneheless, regional organisations supported by the EU are far from accomplishing their set objectives. Using as a test case the Andean Community, the oldest Latin American regional organisation and a prominent case of EU support for regional integration, this paper examines the reasons behind the EU’s lack of impact in promoting regional integration. Stemming from this analysis, the paper proposes a recalibration of EU policy by decoupling trade relations from political engagement and by increasing support for physical and visible integration as opposed to formal institutions detached from the perceived needs of the public.
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