Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies

Labour mobility in the PACER Plus

By Alisi Kautoke-Holani

Since the commencement of the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus negotiations in 2009, the Pacific Forum Island Countries have maintained that their main gain from this Free Trade Agreement is in labour mobility. Free Trade Agreements, such as the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus, are considered crucial for enhancing labour mobility gains for Pacific Forum Island Countries, particularly given the constraints associated with multilateral trade agreements and unilateral initiatives. In June 2017, the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus was signed and included a side-arrangement on labour mobility. This article discusses the role of the Agreement in enhancing the development impact of labour mobility in Pacific sending countries and examines the text of the Movement of Natural Persons Chapter and the Arrangement on Labour Mobility to determine the potential gains for Pacific Forum Island Countries.

Image: ChewyPineapple on wikimedia commons

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