Watch short interviews with speakers at our recent Ethical Insights discussion, which asked what free trade agreements mean for workers.
Negotiations on agreements like TPP, TTIP and CETA have recently attracted widespread attention and controversy. Other agreements, such as GSP+ and EBA, have been in place for years but continue to be debated.
Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) between countries are wide ranging. They deal with taxes, tariffs, quotas and standards and are seen as key drivers of economic growth, especially for the poorest countries. Millions of jobs have been created through global value chains and depend on international trade - but do trade agreements pay enough attention to the quality of those jobs? What impact do they have on workers’ rights and working conditions? Are they set up mainly for the benefit of government or businesses? How do they sit alongside the UNGPs, which require countries to protect and businesses to respect human rights. And where do Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS) fit into this?
We explored these topics with an audience in the latest of our Ethical Insights discussion series, featuring speakers
- Ruth Bergan, Coordinator, Trade Justice Movement
- Yorgos Altintzis, Economic and Social Policy Officer, ITUC
Watch the short interviews below in which Ruth talks about the opportunities for making changes to trade agreements in a post-Brexit landscape; while in the second video Yorgos cites examples of where agreements have been used to improve conditions for workers and outlines the key criteria for agreements to work in favour of workers.