Conclusion: Towards Transnational Solidarity on ‘Free Trade’ Policy?
The aim of this special issue is to understand better the differences between trade unions in the
North and in the South-or, better, the centres and peripheries of global capitalism-on issues
relating to trade and development. Is ‘free trade’ a threat to workers the world over, creating
downward pressure on wages and working conditions? Or is it in fact beneﬁcial to workers in
the North, giving them a share of an ‘imperialist rent’ at the expense of workers in the
South? Northern trade unions and labour movements from the Global South are often divided
over ‘free trade’ policies. Generally speaking, unions in the centres of capitalism have been
more supportive than those in the peripheries in relation to far-reaching deregulation and liberal-
isation of all types of trade.