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Reconstructing Trade and Labour Linkages: A Legal Analysis of Labour Provisions in United States Trade Arrangements

Namgoong, June; (2018) Reconstructing Trade and Labour Linkages: A Legal Analysis of Labour Provisions in United States Trade Arrangements. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This thesis provides an analysis of the ways in which trade-labour linkages are (to be) reconstructed. It addresses the ‘labour provisions’ that are incorporated into domestic trade-related law and into FTAs, focusing on those in US FTAs. In particular, it explores the legal relationship between labour provisions and the laws of the WTO and ILO, and offers a set of legal interpretations regarding these provisions. The thesis seeks to reconstruct labour provisions in such a way as to serve best the normative goals, first through interpretation to the furthest extent that the established rules and principles of international law permit, and secondly by making proposals to reform the current arrangements. In substantive terms, the thesis aims to achieve three meta-goals. First, it recognises an impingement upon labour rights per se as the primary concern, not as a mere proxy for ‘unfair’ cost-saving. Secondly, while committed to taking labour rights more seriously, it also considers developing countries’ concerns about labour provisions being misused or abused for protectionist purposes. Thirdly, it attempts to maximise the function of industrial democracy in the context of labour provisions. This study identifies a specific research gap among academic works on trade-labour linkages, which has been more evident since the arbitral decision of US v Guatemala under the CAFTA-DR. It therefore analyses labour provisions in US FTAs, taking two things into account. One is to pursue the value of legality not only under a given body of international law but also under (fragmented) international law as a whole. The other is to find a way of linking findings from various disciplines to its analytical framework for the legal construction of labour provisions. Accordingly, it seeks to develop a legal argument that sensibly responds to the political, economic, and social challenges and does not remain context-blind.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Reconstructing Trade and Labour Linkages: A Legal Analysis of Labour Provisions in United States Trade Arrangements
Event: UCL
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2018. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Laws
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10062939
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