On the CPTPP Enforceable Labor Standards and China' s Countermeasures

Author: LI Xixia



Abstract: Since the North American Free Trade Agreement was first incorporated into labor standards in 1994, the inclusion of enforceable labor standards in the Free Trade Agreement has the significance of constructing regional labor rules. Of the related items, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) labor standards is the most representative one. The agreement requires contracting states to accept the labor rights stated in their domestic laws, subjects labor disputes to dispute settlement mechanisms, and endows labor standards with enforceability by allowing sanctions to be adopted, thus realizing the linkage between international trade and labor standards. The Chinese government has made it clear that it will actively consider joining the CPTPP, which fully demonstrates China' s consistent position of supporting multilateralism. However, by joining the CPTPP, China will be faced with challenges related to enforceable labor standards. The author of this article holds that, China has entered a new stage of development, and should, in the context of building a new development pattern, coordinate the promotion of domestic rule of law and foreign-related rule of law in the field of labor law, and actively participate in the construction of regional labor rules.

Keywords:CPTPP; enforceable labor standards; labor rights


Author:LI Xixia, an associate research fellow at CASS Institute of International Law.


Source: 4 (2021) Journal of China University of Labor Relations