Free Trade Experiences Labor Pains
Pres. Clinton on Saturday talked up the importance of environmental and labor issues in global trade, speaking in Davos, Switzerland, to the World Economic Forum, an elite gathering of corporate and political leaders. Clinton, a major booster of globalization throughout his presidency, has modified his approach somewhat in the aftermath of the failed World Trade Organization talks in Seattle last month. He told the forum that the world now needs to reinvent the way it thinks about trade and globalization, and that concerns about environmental protection and workers’ rights are legitimate and must be addressed if free trade is to move forward. But developing nations, including China and India, are not changing their tune; they insist that they have the right to set their own environmental and labor standards without interference from industrialized nations.