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Title: Industrial tariff reduction and workers' rights: a process-tracing approach
Authors: Tuvera, Dominador M.
Keywords: DRNTU::Business::International business
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: The Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) in the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Doha Round intends to reduce tariffs and liberalize trade of industrial or manufactured goods. Based on the claim that trade enhances welfare, this dissertation aims to explore and explain why workers will suffer the consequences of industrial tariff reduction through NAMA. At first glance, NAMA or the reduction of industrial tariffs seems to have no impact on workers' rights. Looking closer, the industrial tariff reduction will lower labor standards due to competitive pressure from cheap imports and export markets. This triggers a 'race to the bottom' which allows countries to compete and maintain the market share for their products. While this is also evident in regional and bilateral trade agreements (RBTAs) with labor provisions, it is more so in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) which has no labor provisions. The absence of enforceable complaint mechanisms in case of labor violations and the limited geographic coverage of RBTAs only hamper the enforcement of workers' rights. These arguments are valid and indicate the need for a multilateral agreement on workers' rights in the WTO. A process-tracing approach that explores an in -depth causal relationship between NAMA and workers' rights is used to identify the factors leading to undercutting workers' rights. The threat of trade sanctions for violating workers' rights is crucial if workers' rights are to be enforced in the multilateral trading system. By examining other factors and issues in the causal relationship, the dissertation concludes that the absence of a multilateral agreement on workers' rights is the main reason why NAMA will undercut workers' rights in developing countries.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:RSIS Theses

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