You will prepare and submit a term paper on Possible Trade Restrictions For Improving Environmental Conditions. Your paper should be a minimum of 1750 words in length. The standard of living argument is built around the concept that should trade restrictions be imposed, developing and least developing countries would be deprived of the opportunities for participating in global trade and would therefore lack the means to improve standards of living and therefore lack the wherewithal and incentives to improve working conditions and protect the environment. This paper analyses both sides of the argument and concludes that trade sanctions are entirely unnecessary for forcing compliance with labor and environmental standards. Positive results are more likely in instances where developing and least developed countries are in a position to compete in the global markets and therefore have the incentive through cooperation to improve environmental and labor standards.

The race to the bottom theory argues that in the absence of restrictions setting “standards” of behavior in international trade creates “wide disparities in standards” and exerts “downward pressure on standards”. The need for trade sanctions is therefore obviated by the perception that competition in the global market will lead to a relaxation of environmental and labor standards with the result that there is a race to the bottom.

In particular, it is argued that where trade restrictions are imposed, competition is more balanced as states are required to implement and enforce international standards of labor wages and working conditions and thus will not become a source of “unfair economic advantages”. It is also argued that where labor standards are higher, firms have an incentive to improve employee development toward production and thus human capital development is improved.

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