Political Analysis, Social Justice, Vietnam
Participation in new-generation RTAs: How does it impact labour relations in Vietnam?
Some of the regional trade agreements (RTAs) of which Vietnam is member can be classified as “new-generation” ones. Unlike traditional RTAs, they cover more subjects and regulate areas outside WTO agreements, such as labour standards. The EU–Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), signed in 2019 and ratified by the EU in February 2020, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which entered into force for Vietnam from 14 January 2019 are typical “new-generation” RTAs. They contain chapters dedicated to labour issues, namely, Chapter 19 of the CPTPP (Labour) and Chapter 15 of the EVFTA (Trade and Sustainable Development).
As a part of CPTPP and EVFTA, Vietnam shall be bound by the labour protection regulations provided by the above-mentioned chapters. What will be the legal impact of this situation on labour relations in Vietnam? To answer this question, firstly, the authors will offer a brief legal analysis of the labour protection regulations prescribed by these chapters. In the second part, the authors will concentrate on improvements to Vietnamese law after entering the EVFTA and the CPTPP, as reflected by the 2019 Labour Code. The authors will concentrate on analyses of Chapter 19 of the CPTPP and Chapter 15 of the EVFTA as well as on comparisons between Vietnam’s 2012 and 2019 Labour Codes. Other provisions of new-generation RTAs and Vietnamese by-law documents are outside the scope of this article.
European Parliament, “Benefits of EU International Trade Agreements, European Added Value in Action (Briefing)”, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2017/603269/EPRS_BRI(2017)603269_EN.pdf (last accessed 20 January 2020).H. Horn, P.C. Mavroidis and A. Sapir, Beyond the WTO? An Anatomy of EU and US Preferential Trade Agreements, Brussels: Bruegel Blueprint Series, Volume VII, 2008, p. 3.
 The CPTPP is a trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Author: Dr. Thi Thuy Duong TRAN & M.A Tung NGUYEN
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Hashtags: #RegionalTradeAgreements #LabourRelations