ABSTRACT

Labor Enforcement Issues in U.S. FTAs [Updated August 23, 2019]   [open pdf - 433KB]

From the Background: "Labor provisions in free trade agreements (FTAs)--both in the U.S. and globally--were first included in the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC), the side agreement to the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Since then provisions have evolved from commitments not just to enforce a country's own domestic labor laws, but also to adopt and enforce core principles of the International Labor Organization (ILO). [...] U.S. FTAs have set precedents both in terms of the scope and enforceability of labor provisions. An ILO report found as of 2016, 77 out of 267 FTAs globally included labor provisions, compared to 21 in 2005. Unlike U.S. practice, the majority of agreements do not subject labor provisions to dispute settlement. Most provide a framework for dialogue, capacity building, and monitoring, rather than link violations to economic consequences, such as trade sanctions. In cases where dispute settlement is applicable, such mechanisms have been rarely invoked; countries largely aim to solve disputes via cooperative consultations."

Report Number:
CRS In Focus, IF10972
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2019-08-23
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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