This is a selection of WWW pages on the debate about indroducing a
social (or environmental) clause in the multilateral trade system. If you
find that we are missing important links on the subject, please let
With this page we would like to make available in a bundled way various
sources of information on the debate about introducing a social clause
in the multilateral trade system (WTO, regional trade agreements like EU,
NAFTA, etc.). Our own point of view is very critical
of the social clause, as we explain in an article first published in FriZ
(Zeitschrift für Friedenspolitik - Swiss Peace News).
to the Social Clause (extract from "South/North Conference: new alliances
for dignity in Labour" background material, 1-2-3 October 1995, Pisa).
Original title of the conference: "Sud-Nord: nuove alleanze per la dignitá
del lavoro". Available in book form in French and Italian, including further
material on the conference. French version available from: CETIM, 6 rue
Amat, CH-1202 Genève: "SUD / NORD - Nouvelles alliances pour la
dignité du travail - Actes de la conférence - Pise, 1-2-3
The ICFTU campaign for the social clause
The ICFTU (International Confederation
of Free Trade Unions, "free" meaning non-communist, or independent of Moscow)
is the biggest confederation of trade unions world-wide, the two other
big ones being the World Federation
of Trade Unions, and the European Federation of Trade Unions (the World
Congress of Labor being another international federation of trade unions).
The ICFTU is one of the surest partner of big capital in co-opting NGOs
and trade unions and assigning them a role of legitimizing WTO and neoliberal
Clause, outline of the position of Public Services International (PSI)
towards a social clause (unfortunately, the additional, longer position
papers linked to from that page are in a rather unreadable pure-ASCII form).
Report a4-0319, report by the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Security
and Defence Policy on the communication from the Commission to the Council
and the European Parliament on trade and environment (COM(96)0054 - C4-0158/96)
(14 October 1996 - 73 KB). This report shows how afraid the EU
is that popular outrage will destabilize the multilateral trade system
if the WTO does not implement ecological procedures.
The case of Myanmar (Burma), against which besides
the usual political sanctions, trade sanctions were imposed based on a
social clause within the framework of the Generalised System of Preferences
Swiss industry's rejection of social clause in MAI
It is quite interesting to see on what grounds the Swiss industrialists
are afraid of a social clause. The main point is they want the Multilateral
Agreement on Investment (MAI) to be signed by all countries, after the
OECD countries have negotiated it among themselves. And a social clause
within MAI would be opposed by countries of the South, which may prevent
them from signing their life away.