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17 - Labour Laws and Global Trade

17 - Labour Laws and Global Trade - Labour Laws Global...

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Does Transnational Labour Regulation Matter? Transnational Labour Regulation: Rules and procedures which apply across national boundaries, that is in more than one jurisdiction. They may be unilateral, bilateral, regional or multilateral o Concerned with the dignity and welfare of workers/ exploited individuals Critics and Supporters of Transnational Labour Regulation According to extreme free trade advocates: Transnational labour laws and domestic labour laws, when effectively enforce, undermine the comparative advantage of countries Protectionists argue for: The safe guarding of national markets and domestic labour laws against external regulation; Friedrich List would agree as is demonstrated through his infant industry model. According to Politicians: Transnational regulation is a way in which developed nations seek to exclude competition by imposing standards that they themselves ignored in the process of industrialization 2. Labour in the New Global Economy Globalisation Economic Globalisation : The integration of economic activities across borders through markets. Laws play an essential role in this process by either ensuring the free movement of goods, services and capital, or by erecting barriers against them. Free movement of labour however it has remained relatively immobile due to things like : o political opposition to immigration, o reluctance of people to be uprooted, the lack of demand for unskilled labour in dev. countries, 1
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o and difficulties experienced by migrants (ex. Language, skills, costs of legal migration) Effects of Globalization Today Technological changes are giving rise to a network society that creates opportunities for trade and investment Economic integration is increasing rapidly Goods are produced where costs are lower and a wider rang of consumers can choose from the same range of branded products Developing countries increasingly export manufactured goods and services The Role of Transnational Corporations TNCs have been the driving force in technological innovation in communications, transport information and have also been responsible for new forms of investment and business organization that have transformed the world of work. Ex. Offshoring( example in Box 1.2, p. 151), joint ventures, franchising, etc. It has been argued that their networks transcend national boundaries, identities and interests: o They have the ability to shift production around the globe, bypass national governments, and to account only to themselves for intra-firm trade and transfers. o However they are increasingly decentralised and specialized and are dependant on complex, interlocking, cross-border networks. Negative : These Specialised branch plants enjoy little autonomy as a result. Positive : Local specialised subsidiaries may be able to serve other firms and create jobs. 3.
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