Labor Rights in the Generalized System of Preferences: A 20-Year Review
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Compa, Lance A.; Vogt, Jeffrey S.
[Excerpt]In the fall of 1982, a small group of labor, religious, and human rights activists began charting a new course for human rights and workers' rights in American trade policy. The principles of these labor rights advocates were straightforward: 1. No country should attract investment or gain an edge in international trade by violating workers' rights; 2. No company operating in global trade should gain a competitive edge by violating workers' rights; and, 3. Workers have a right to demand protection for labor rights in the international trade system, and to have laws to accomplish it. The coalition that took shape 20 years ago made a labor rights amendment to the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the chief policy vehicle in U.S. law to promote these principles. This article reviews 20 years' experience with the GSP labor rights clause.
generalized system of preferences; GSP; labor rights; trade
Required Publisher Statement: Copyright held by the author. Originally published in the Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal.