TOWARDS A SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE TRADE POLICY?

« Let’s make human rights central to a new NAFTA »

Ed Broadbent, The Globe and Mail, 5 May 2017

 

Canada foresees to negotiate several trade agreements, particularly with China and Mercosur, and to begin a possible NAFTA renegotiation. In addition, the link between globalization and social progress is becoming increasingly important. To that end, many international instruments exist, however they remain ineffective. It is in this context, and as part of its research on Global Labour Governance, that the CEIM launches a public consultation to identify what Canadians think about the applicability of adopting certain measures by the Canadian government. The consultation targets measures relating to social clauses in trade agreements, to the social conditionality in generalized system of trade preferences and to the ban on imports of goods produced by forced labour or the worst forms of child labour.

We aim to inform the public on the social dimension of international trade, lead a pan-Canadian discussion on “socially responsible” trade policy instruments, make recommendations to the Government of Canada on these topics, and contribute to research on global labour governance, especially through publications and networking events with Canadian experts.

This website allows you to take the online survey (until October 15, 2017) and register to attend the consultations to be held in September 2017 in five major Canadian cities. (It is possible to take the online survey without registering to the consultations)

SURVEY


Please correct any required fields and submit again.

First block of questions: social clauses in trade agreements

The United States, Canada and the European Union, among others, have included social clauses in their trade agreements. These social clauses have evolved and been modified from one agreement to another, it is in this context that we survey your opinion on ways of strengthening such clauses, particularly with regards to the level of obligations and the implementation process.

1. Are you satisfied with the social clauses negotiated by Canada up to now?
This question is required
2. In order to increase the level of obligations in trade agreements, should Canada negotiate for:
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
12345
An explicit reference to ILO’s fundamental Conventions?
An explicit mention of the principle of gender equality?
Measurable commitments and / or enhanced cooperation on maternity-related rights and work-family balance (eg. parental leave)?
This question is required
3. Regarding the implementation of labour chapters in trade agreements, do you think that Canada should:
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
12345
Enforce states' capacity to initiate consultation and arbitration procedures directly (self-referral)?
Provide financial resources to help its partners enforce workers’ rights in their territories?
Condition trade privileges to a labour action plans if necessary?
Provide for stronger sanction / penalties in trade agreements?
Provide for the creation of a Permanent Secretariat for each trade agreement to facilitate its implementation?
This question is required
4. In order to strengthen civil society participation and make trade policy more democratic, should Canada:
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
12345
Simplify the complaint process?
Organize national civil society consultations on a regular basis?
Establish a civil society forum associated to the agreement?
Increase transparency during the negotiation process (eg. making the negotiation agenda and preparatory documents available to the public)?
Create an independent national institution to deal with complaints and communications submitted by civil society?
This question is required
5. With regards to the inclusion of labour law provisions in other chapters, should Canada:
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
12345
Clarify that improvements in labour laws cannot be considered as a form of expropriation under investment chapters in trade agreements?
Consider the respect for workers' rights as a criterion in the evaluation of bids for public contracts?
This question is required

Second block of questions: new measures in trade policy ?

A. The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)

Since the 1970s, developed countries have offered preferential tariffs to developing countries: Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). The United States and the European Union condition access to their GSP to respect for a number of fundamental workers' rights.

6. With respect to access to its GSP, do you think that Canada should:
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
12345
Condition access to respect for workers' rights?
Implement mechanisms to investigate or monitor workers' rights?
Establish a civil society complaints mechanism in case of workers' rights violations?
This question is required

B. Forced labour and the worst forms of child labour

Some countries ban access to their markets to imports of goods produced by forced labour or the worst forms of child labour, taking into account supply value chains.

7. Should Canada adopt measures prohibiting the import of goods produced by:
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being totally disagree and 5 being totally agree
12345
Forced labour?
The worst forms of child labour?
This question is required

Final question: What priorities?

8. Which of the questions in this survey do you consider to be a priority? (Indicate three choices, in order of priority).
This question is required
First choice
Please select an option
Second Choice
Please select an option
Third choice
Please select an option
Additional comments:
This question is required

To help us process the data, please answer the following questions:

Are you a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident?
This question is required
In which province or territory do you live?
Please select an option
Are you:
Please select an option
What is your age?
Please select an option
What is you personal income before tax?
Please select an option
By virtue of what title or qualification are you participating in this survey?
Please select an option

If you wish to know the results of the survey, we invite you to leave your first name, last name and e-mail address:

First name (optional)
This question is required
Last name (optional)
This question is required
Email (optional)
Please enter a valid e-mail address

SURVEY


Please correct any required fields and submit again.

First block of questions: social clauses in trade agreements

The United States, Canada and the European Union, among others, have included social clauses in their trade agreements. These social clauses have evolved and been modified from one agreement to another, it is in this context that we survey your opinion on ways of strengthening such clauses, particularly with regards to the level of obligations and the implementation process.

1. Are you satisfied with the social clauses negotiated by Canada up to now?
This question is required

2. In order to increase the level of obligations in trade agreements, should Canada negotiate for:

An explicit reference to ILO's fundamental Conventions?
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
Please select an option
An explicit mention of the principle of gender equality?
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
Please select an option
Measurable commitments and / or enhanced cooperation on maternity-related rights and work-family balance (eg. parental leave)?
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
Please select an option

3. Regarding the implementation of labour chapters in trade agreements, do you think that Canada should:

Enforce states' capacity to initiate consultation and arbitration procedures directly (self-referral)?
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
Please select an option
Provide financial resources to help its partners enforce workers’ rights in their territories?
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
Please select an option
Condition trade privileges to a labour action plans if necessary?
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
Please select an option
Provide for stronger sanction / penalties in trade agreements?
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
Please select an option
Provide for the creation of a Permanent Secretariat for each trade agreement to facilitate its implementation?
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
Please select an option

4. In order to strengthen civil society participation and make trade policy more democratic, should Canada:

Simplify the complaint process?
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
Please select an option
Organize national civil society consultations on a regular basis?
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
Please select an option
Establish a civil society forum associated to the agreement?
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
Please select an option
Increase transparency during the negotiation process (eg. making the negotiation agenda and preparatory documents available to the public)?
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
Please select an option
Create an independent national institution to deal with complaints and communications submitted by civil society?
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
Please select an option

5. With regards to the inclusion of labour law provisions in other chapters, should Canada:

Clarify that improvements in labour laws cannot be considered as a form of expropriation under investment chapters in trade agreements?
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
Please select an option
Consider the respect for workers' rights as a criterion in the evaluation of bids for public contracts?
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
Please select an option

Second block of questions: new measures in trade policy ?

A. The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)

Since the 1970s, developed countries have offered preferential tariffs to developing countries: Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). The United States and the European Union condition access to their GSP to respect for a number of fundamental workers' rights.

6. With respect to access to its GSP, do you think that Canada should:

Condition access to respect for workers' rights?
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
Please select an option
Implement mechanisms to investigate or monitor workers' rights?
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
Please select an option
Establish a civil society complaints mechanism in case of workers' rights violations?
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being not important and 5 being a priority
Please select an option

B. Forced labour and the worst forms of child labour

Some countries ban access to their markets to imports of goods produced by forced labour or the worst forms of child labour, taking into account supply value chains.

7. Should Canada adopt measures prohibiting the import of goods produced by:

Forced labour?
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being totally disagree and 5 being totally agree
Please select an option
The worst forms of child labour?
On a scale from 1 to 5 , 1 being totally disagree and 5 being totally agree
Please select an option

Final question: What priorities?

8. Which of the questions in this survey do you consider to be a priority? (Indicate three choices, in order of priority).
This question is required
First choice
Please select an option
Second Choice
Please select an option
Third choice
Please select an option
Additional comments:
This question is required

To help us process the data, please answer the following questions:

Are you a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident?
This question is required
In which province or territory do you live?
Please select an option
Are you:
Please select an option
What is your age?
Please select an option
What is you personal income before tax?
Please select an option
By virtue of what title or qualification are you participating in this survey?
Please select an option

If you wish to know the results of the survey, we invite you to leave your first name, last name and e-mail address:

First name (optional)
This question is required
Last name (optional)
This question is required
Email (optional)
Please enter a valid e-mail address

Since 2006, the Center for Studies on Integration and Globalization (CEIM) has developed an expertise on Global Labour Governance (GLG) issues. The CEIM has benefited from several grants and contributions for its research in developing a better understanding of mechanisms reconciling globalization and improvement of workers’ rights. The CEIM has coordinated a number of research activities, including the following events: Round tables on Global Labour Governance I (2006) and II (2007), Humanizing Trade I (2008), II (2009) and III (2012) and the creation of an electronic directory on GLG, an extension tool that provides a description of the main international cooperation instruments in the field of labour standards.

CONTACT

Global Labor Governance (GLG) Project
Centre d’études sur l’intégration et la mondialisation (CEIM)
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
Pavillon Hubert-Aquin, office A-1570
400, rue Sainte-Catherine Est
Montréal (Québec)  H2L 2C5
Canada

Michèle Rioux, Professor, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
Project Director

Sylvain Zini, Associated Researcher, Centre d’études sur l’intégration et la mondialisation (CEIM)
Manager and Project Coordinator

Telephone: + 1 514 987-3000 ext. 8902
Email: zini.sylvain@uqam.ca

 

 

 

 

 

This project is possible thanks to a grant provided by :