Regionalizing Labor Policy Through NAFTA: Beyond President Bush’s Temporary Worker Proposal

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Vol: 28, Issue: 2, Page: 353

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Gunn, Elizabeth L
International Trade Law; Labor and Employment Law
textual work description
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) sought to create an expanded and secure market for the goods and services produced in its member territories. It represented huge improvements in the freedom of goods, services, and investments to move between member nations, but remained silent on the issue of freedom of movement of labor. The major objection to unrestricted movement of labor within NAFTA was the concern of permanent immigration from Mexico into, mainly, the United States. In early 2004, President George W. Bush introduced a proposal to allow, unilaterally, freer movement of temporary laborers into the United States. This Note argues that the President’s proposal is flawed because it fails to seek a multilateral agreement for the freedom of movement beyond that which flows into the United States, and especially ignores U.S. citizens seeking employment abroad. Rather than the United States acting unilaterally, this Note argues for a re-consideration of movement of labor within NAFTA.