International Trade and the GATT/WTO Social Clause: Broadening the Debate
AbstractThis article examines recent multilateral considerations of the social clause proposal and suggest that it warrants continuing discussion. It is argued that its scope should be broadened to include customary and treaty-based human rights, and environmental standards, and that these could be brought within Art20 of the GATT. The article first examines the terms which are proposed for the social clause, and related proposals. It then examines its lack of progress in multilateral fora. It then reviews selected GATT and WTO articles and processes relating to trade and environment, followed by an examination of some of the practical and philosophical arguments for and against a broadened social clause. It concludes by suggesting that a broadened social clause could promote sustainable and peaceful development, and more humane governance.
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