chapter  14
10 Pages

Conclusion: Towards Transnational Solidarity on ‘Free Trade’ Policy?

ByAndreas Bieler, Bruno Ciccaglione, John Hilary & Ingemar Lindberg

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.