One discussion and 2 replies


iconHuman Rights & Trading Rights

Do you think governments should consider human rights when granting preferential trading rights to countries? What are the arguments for and against taking such a position?

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Post by Bedizel,Aj


Do you think governments should consider human rights when granting preferential trading rights to countries? What are the arguments for and against taking such a position?

 When the Constitution was written on September 17, 1787 it established a framework of how the Government should operate.  Encompassed within the Constitution are human rights, this document was the first civic document that was to embody the importance of human rights. If the USA is to adhere to the Constitution and set an example for the rest of the world we must hold ourselves to a higher regard and protect and respect the sanctity of human rights. So yes, we must consider human rights when granting preferential trading agreements. Other leaders in the free world should also consider this policy of protecting human rights and prevent trading with countries that do not hold themselves to the same basic level of human dignities.

Countries that do not provide basic rights such as:

Child’s rights and child labor laws

Gender Equality

Race Equality

Woman’s Rights

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Religion


Countries that do not provide their own people these basic rights should not only not be allowed preferential trade policies, they should not even be trade partners. Countries that do not respect their own people have more unstable governments, likely to corruption, and potentially higher poverty of the working class. There is definitely a correlation between nations of poverty and the human rights violations that exist within these nations. “What begins as a failure to uphold the dignity of one life, all too often ends as a calamity for entire nations” – Kofi Annan.

Proponents for trade may argue that by eliminating trading partners that have a high occurrence of human rights violations may increase prices to consumers, I counteract that ideology with nations must hold themselves to a higher moral and ethical standard and set the example for non-compliant nations. If paying higher prices so that people can be respected, then so be it. Secondly, some may argue that human rights are not related to business and trade, but I dispute this rationale as trade incentives are a perfect segway to open the lines of communications to persuade nations to improve their policies on human rights.  Improved human rights policies not only make for better societies but make for better trade relations.  Those that improve the quality of life for their people and respect human rights should be incentivized with better preferential trading policies.  Developed nations need to “raise the bar” and set an example to developing nations by promoting human rights and through trade policies would be a primary route for change.


Advocates for Human Rights (n.d.), Human Rights and the USA                          Retrieved from: to an external site.

N.A., (2003, June). Poverty Reduction and Human Rights                                     Retrieved From:

Hill, C. and Hult, T. International Business: Competing in the Global Marketplace 12 ed.

McGraw-Hill 2018

Post by  


Do you think governments should consider human rights when granting preferential trading rights to countries? What are the arguments for and against taking such a position?

I most definitely agree that governments should determine trade agreements based on the ability to provide basic human rights and opportunities to its people. Our country was founded on these principles and values. This topic hits home for me, as I am a product of risk and pure will. My family, along with so many others fled a communist and violent country in hopes of something better- a free and safe land. When I first learned as a boy that our proud nation had alienated Cuba, a communist state and past home to the majority of my family, I was proud and excited for the positive nature of the decision.

On the positive side, restricting trade to those countries who violate basic human rights like: freedom to vote, women’s rights, freedom of speech, and so many others would promote the same values globally that we hold to be self evident. It would unite those who believe in the health and wellness of all and alienate those who wish to manhandle these rights. The negative reaction to this position is that we would essentially cut off life lines to those countries who cannot afford to promote or provide basic human rights. Unfortunately, we have extended ourselves to countries who struggle with this topic, but it is in the hopes that we can provide the benefits of trade to progress their economies. Alienating certain nations could spur major geopolitical issues and can end in violence. On a deeper level than we, as civilians can understand, trade agreements maintain positive imports/exports but also keep the peace like a delicately spun web. Each deal connected to another and so forth. We should restrict trade with evil and inhumane countries- without a doubt.


Hill, C. and Hult, T. International Business: Competing in the Global Marketplace 12 ed.

McGraw-Hill 2018

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