SEMINAR: ARE TRADE AND LABOR RECONCILABLE? PROPOSAL FOR A TRADE-RELATED LABOR AGREEMENT

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Economics Seminar by Kiyoun Sohn, Associate Professor, Department of International Trade, University of Incheon; Visiting Scholar, East-West Center

When: Jul 31 2007 (All day)
Where: John A. Burns Hall, 3012 (Third Floor)
What:

Recently the labor issue, which has been considered as a domestic economic policy, has received growing attention in the international trade context.There have been a number of attempts to link trade to labor standards or workers' rights on either economic or human rights ground.While certain rules have been implemented at the unilateral and regional level, most attempts at the multilateral trade context have failed to get any tangible outcome.First, we discuss arguments concerning the linkage, including 'social dumping' and a race to the bottom argument.Then, we examine the measures which individual countries and some regional trade agreements adopt.Moreover, we analyze how the linkage has been dealt under the GATT/WTO system.Finally, recognizing shortcomings of the existing unilateral and regional trade rules on labor, we propose essential elements to be included in a 'trade-related labor agreement'.We discuss primarily how those elements such as the most-favored-nation (MFN) principle, national treatment (NT) principle and dispute settlement procedures shall be embodied in the multilateral agreement in a manner consistent with the WTO agreements.

Dr. Sohn is currently an East-West Center Visiting Scholar. His main research areas are trade policies, international trade laws and negotiations.He has written numerous articles and books on the subjects, including "Non-Tariff Barriers: Subsidies and the Behind-the–Border Measures", A Study on WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement and Analysis of China's Anti-Dumping Regulations (forthcoming).Previously, he had worked at the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as a trade policy counselor and handled WTO and FTA negotiations, and a number of trade disputes.He also worked at the Korean National Assembly Secretariat as a trade advisor.Currently, he provides advice on trade policies for public and private sector, including the National Economic Advisory Council (for President), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to the Tariff Policy Advisory Committee (of the Ministry of Finance and Economy) and the Korean Customs Services.Recently, he was involved in the Korea-US FTA negotiations.He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Anna Tanaka
Phone: 808-944-7607