Cornell University

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Visiting Fellow Profile

Ana Virginia Gomes, Brazil

Ana Virginia GomesAna Virginia Gomes is Professor of International Labor Law in the Master in Law Program at the Santos Catholic University, in Santos, Brazil. She is also Professor of Trade Union Law and International Labor Law in the Law School at the Mackenzie University, in São Paulo, Brazil. She earned a Ph.D. in Labor Law at the University of São Paulo.

Her research focuses on the labor dimension of economic integration and related processes. More specifically, she is interested in the bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) between the USA and Latin American countries including regional groups such as the Mercosur. During her stay at Cornell, Ana is working on a research project on trade agreements and labor law. A brief description is given below.

Challenges posed by the process of international economic liberalization for labor regulation have significant consequences for the national and international order. The debates about lower labor standards in nation states is directly related to doubts about the effectiveness of the traditional system of international protection of labor, built during the 20th century, in especially, in the form of the International Labor Organization (ILO). Arguments about the lack of enforcement of the ILO conventions, the existence of social dumping and the race to the bottom, especially, between developing countries, place the relations between labor and international trade as one of the most important subjects for the present and for the future of labor law. Despite the failure in creating a multilateral international system in which labour and trade would not be isolated, it makes sense to question, especially with the expansion of international trade, if this relation exists and, if so, how it operates. Her research project attempts, in this context, to examine and to develop a critical analysis of economic treaties with a labor dimension within the Americas. The central objective of the project is to analyze the Bilateral Free Trade Agreements of the United States with the countries of Latin America and the labor norms of the Mercosur. To analyze the labor clauses, she plans to consider the common and conflicting points, of the two types of international norms, bilateral and regional, This analysis is expected to help explain the contours of and implications for labor regulation and the consequences of the connection between labor and trade in the protection of labor rights.

This research is supported by the Santos Catholic University and the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP).

Ana is currently visiting the ILR School through June 2007. Her faculty sponsor is Professor Lance Compa. Comments and reflections regarding her research and Ph.D. education issues are welcome.

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- Ana Virginia Gomes, Brazil

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