Press Releases | Unions and Labor Standards

News from EPI How to reform trade agreements to include meaningful enforcement of labor rights

Time after time, the labor-rights provisions of trade deals like NAFTA and CAFTA fail the workers they were designed to protect.  The governments involved have neither effective institutional mechanisms nor the will to sanction the countries or companies that trample the rights of the workers who make the products that are traded.  Columbia University law professor Mark Barenberg has considered this and devised ways to use trade agreements to protect and advance labor rights.  He lays out his plan in Sustaining Workers’ Bargaining Power in an Age of Globalization, released today by the Economic Policy Institute as part of its Agenda for Shared Prosperity.
“We should incorporate labor rights and standards in the fundamental ground rules of the new global economy,” said Barenberg.  “They must be as real and enforceable as the rights of investors.”