Club Soda and Salt

No more stains

“Fair” Trade Possibilities

Posted by clubsodaandsalt on August 11, 2004

TNR has an article today talking about the the success of a trade agreement with Cambodia. The interesting bit is that the agreement tied higher import quotas to higher labour standards, and apparently, it worked. Workers in the Cambodian garment industry are now working for the “living wage” that so many on the left keep demanding, and companies continue to do business there. Good.

As the end of the article makes clear, it’s not entirely clear that this model could work in other places, and it’s also not clear that it will continue to work after Cambodia joins the WTO. It’s also worth noting that this probably falls short of (misguided) Dem demands to have “fair labour and environmental standards”. Still, it’s nice to see that coaxing a country into protecting its workers can actually pan out sometimes.

Incidentally, I’d be far more interested in getting countries to invest in education & health & infrastructure instead (which will allow them to attract higher value investment, a la India).

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