The trade-labour nexus: global value chains and labour provisions in European Union free trade agreements

Barbu, Mirela, Campling, Liam, Smith, Adrian, Harrison, James and Richardson, Ben (2018) The trade-labour nexus: global value chains and labour provisions in European Union free trade agreements. Global Labour Journal, 9 (3). pp. 258-280. ISSN 1918-6711

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Abstract

Labour standards provisions contained within the European Union’s (EU) free trade agreements (FTAs) are a major iteration of attempts to regulate working conditions in the global economy. This article develops an analysis of how the legal and institutional mechanisms established by these FTAs intersect with global value chain governance dynamics in countries with contrasting political economies. The article formulates an original analytical framework to explore how governance arrangements and power relations between lead firms in core markets and suppliers in FTA signatory countries shape and constrain the effectiveness of labour provisions in FTAs. This analysis demonstrates how the common framework of labour provisions in EU trade agreements, when applied in a uniform manner across differentiated political-economic contexts, face serious difficulties in creating meaningful change for workers in global value chains.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: labour provisions; free trade agreements; global value chains; European Union
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD4801 Labour. Work. Working class > HD4861 Labour systems
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF1021 Commercial geography. Economic geography
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF1701 Tariff. Free trade. Protectionism
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Depositing User: Mirela Barbu
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2019 13:58
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2019 13:32
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/81462

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