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Breaking the Labor-Trade Deadlock

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The issue of how best to promote respect for internationally recognized core labor standards in an increasingly interconnected world has become a major stumbling block to progress in international trade negotiations, both at the multilateral and the regional level. This paper represents an effort to shake loose the current policy logjam, in the FTAA/ALCA process and elsewhere, over incorporating labor issues into trade agreements. It attempts to do so by asserting and describing a viable and credible win-win alternative approach that holds the potential for markedly improving the coverage and enforcement of core labor standards without resort to trade sanctions (or insertion of labor issues into trade negotiations).