Informations and abstract
Keywords: Labor Standards: Public Policy; Economic Impacts of Globalization: Labor; Trade and Labor Market Interactions; International Agreements and Observance.
The paper analyses the social clauses included in commercial treaties and in international exchanges among enterprises as instruments of social regulation of international trade and of promotion of human rights on a global scale and in the framework of sustainable development. In particular the author examines the multiple international sources of social regulation, the various categories of social clauses, the evolution of their contents and language. He also analyses the forms and limits of the procedures for the implementation and enforcement of the various clauses, with particular attention to the recent treaties, TPP and CETA and with specific reference to the ISDS clauses. The paper underlines the uncertain impact of the international social regulations so far adopted but also the possible pattern - setting meaning of the CETA and of the negotiations, now suspended, for the TTIP. As to the regulations concerning the exchanges among multinational enterprises a distinction is made between unilateral rules (guidelines, codes of practice, principle of CSR) and clauses of transnational collective agreements, mainly signed with the European Works Councils (EWC). The paper also presents a few pilot judicial cases, mainly of US origin, which, although limited in number, indicate the potential and limits of judicial application of international social rules. Finally the author discusses some innovative proposals aimed at promoting the effectiveness of fundamental social rights in international trade with a variety of strategies and instruments.