The article begins with a brief on the history of trade and labour relations and how it has been conducted within the WTO and in the trade plans of key proponents of its inclusion in trade agreements. It examines how the number of trade agreements that refrain from implementing labour rules has increased considerably since the WTO was blocked (section 2). It then focuses on two main proponents of labour rules in trade agreements, the United States and the European Union (EU), explains how their models work and identifies the main restrictions and defects (sections 3 and 4). Recent efforts to strengthen labour rules on both sides of the Atlantic are then reviewed (section 5). The results of these reform efforts will be scrutinized, bearing in mind that they are not very ambitious. In conclusion, it is argued that a paradigm shift is needed to encourage the involvement of academic and business communities in the labour rights agenda (section 6). The U.S. working chapters have similar characteristics in all agreements with different trading partners.46 The common formulation approach is somewhat weaker in the U.S. model, however, as changes in political administrations have led to changes in the approach to labour rules under free trade agreements.
Nevertheless, a developing “pre-Trump” approach, as developed by the Bush and Obama administrations, can be identified. There are significant overlaps with the EU approach.47 They create obligations with regard to the ILO`s core labour standards48 aimed at avoiding the weakening of labour law in order to attract investment, to involve civil society in the negotiation and monitoring of provisions49 cooperation activities aimed at strengthening workers` rights between the parties and establishing dispute resolution procedures between governments and juries.50 , Jordan and the United States agreed to involve civil society in the negotiation and monitoring of provisions49 cooperation activities aimed at strengthening workers` rights between the parties and establishing dispute resolution procedures between governments and juries.50 To protect the rights of ILO workers. They also explained how to resolve disputes over labour standards: if one country weakens its labour laws or does not bring its laws or enforcement into line with the ILO`s core standards, the other can take appropriate measures, including the withdrawal of commercial services. To date, only one case has been brought before an arbitration tribunal under the U.S. DR-CAFTA, which has not effectively complied with its own labour law.63 Although the case was officially opened by the United States in 2010, the dispute resolution body did not report its results until June 2017. The council voted in favour of Guatemala. While the United States was able to prove that Guatemala had failed to enforce labour law on eight different sites, it could not demonstrate that “these cases constitute a practice or inaction that affects trade.” 64 The panel identified the legal test for determining whether the measures or inaction affected trade, “a failure to effectively enforce a party`s labour laws through a long-term or recurrent practice or inaction [a certain competitive advantage for an employer or employer working in trade between the contracting parties.” 65 The Panel found that the failures of Guatemala`s law enforcement services in Guatemala , combined, involve sustained or recurrent action, but have not behaved prejudicially to trade.