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Unformatted text preview: The Issue of Tight Labor Standards within International Trade Introduction: Late 20 th and the beginning of the 21 st century witnessed important developments in terms of politics and economics, not to mention social developments. With the fall of the Eastern Communist bloc and the Soviet Sot Republic in 1991, two blocs that shaped world politics, one communist and the other capitalist ceased to exist any more. Some theoreticians such as Francis Fukuyama (1992) even argued that this is the end of history and that the fall of the eastern bloc symbolized the victory of the capitalist regime, liberal market economy and liberal democracy with no hesitation. 1 This argument is not certainly shared by all the people around the world. The counter arguments stress that market economy and liberal democracy have internal failures, namely the market economy has failures in itself such as unemployment, social exclusion whereas liberal democracy cannot produce solutions to the demands of all sectors, that is why etno- nationalisms and international terror have made a peak during the recent decades. Nevertheless, it is necessary to state at this point that, despite the arguments made against the presence of a universal regime that proves good for everyone, the actual situation in world politics and economics indicate a dominance on behalf of free market economy and liberal democracy. Yet, it is important to mention once more that the market economy and liberal international trade associated with it are not exempt from controversies. In this essay, liberal international trade and its most important international organization, namely the World Trade Organization (WTO) will be analyzed within the perspective of one of its controversies: setting tight labor standards in international trade forged by the WTO. WTO and International Trade: 1 1 Keyman, Fuat. (2000). “Türkiye ve Radikal Demokrasi” İstanbul: Alfa Yayınları. P. 1 1 The WTO was established in 1995 however; the idea and the practices behind the WTO are not that young. The WTO bears the legacy of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which was since 1948, providing the rules for international trade. Therefore, it is possible to state that GATT gave birth to the WTO, which is more exhaustive and profound than GATT. “The last and latest GATT Round, was the Uruguay Round that lasted from 1986 to 1994 and led to the WTO’s creation. Whereas GATT has mainly dealt with trade in goods, the WTO and its agreements now cover trade in services, and in traded inventions, creations and designs (intellectual property).” 2 Therefore, it can be concluded that the WTO is a more comprehensive organization than GATT; actually it is the organizational form of GATT, as GATT was only an agreement. Currently, the WTO is the only organization throughout the world that is setting the rules of international trade....
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- Spring '08
- International Trade, World Trade Organization, labor standards, International Trade and Labor Standards