This guide provides an analysis of past trade agreements, set within the context of developments in international economic relations. It shows that there can be gains from more trade and economic integration, but that there have also been losers.
There are clear dangers to economic and social development from globalisation based on the interest of business alone. These cannot be offset by the inclusion of clauses protecting labour standards in agreements, worthwhile though those may be. Trade unions and others should aim to be involved in all aspects of trade agreements ensuring that governments can regulate their economies and promote economic and social development in the interests of all.