The 'Trade and employment: challenges for policy research' study, published on 19 February 2007, aims to provide an impartial view on the relationship between trade, employment and social policies.
This joint International Labour Organization (ILO)/World Trade Organization (WTO) report concludes that trade, labour and social policies do interact and that greater policy coherence in these domains can help to ensure that "trade reforms have significantly positive effects on both growth and employment". The report therefore urges research to support the formulation of more effective and coherent policies to maximise the benefits of global trade for all.
The study suggests that globalisation can be good for most workers in both industrialised and developing countries, provided that the appropriate economic policies are in place. However "it may not be good for all workers, and its distributional implications should not be ignored". The results also show that there is no agreement on how to design appropriate redistribution policies in a globalising world.
The study was welcomed by two European commissioners. "A better understanding of the relationship between trade and employment is crucial for effectively tackling inequalities, promoting decent work for all and for strengthening the social dimension of globalisation," said Social Affairs and Emplyment Commissioner Vladimir Spidla.
Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson added that the study supports the EU's recent initiatives to strengthen trade and employment policies and maximise the social benefits that trade has to offer.