As noted many times on this blog, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been making a big deal of the absence of enforceable labor/environmental standards in certain trade agreements, such as NAFTA. But how important would these really be? Dan Drezner gives the following answer:
Repeat after me: attaching labor and environmental standards to trade agreements will have no appeciable effect on trade flows. Anyone who tells you differently is selling you something.
I'm sympathetic to that view, with one caveat: Demanding that labor and environmental provisions be included could scuttle some trade deals, and that would have an impact on trade flows.