Human rights at crossroads: North American trade policies and their impact on human rights in Indonesia

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Daniel Uribe Saldarriaga

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Abstract

Nowadays, trade is the engine running the world. Commercial relations drag a plethora of issues that make them more relevant: today, trade is not an isolated interaction, but instead it is connected to issues like environmental matters, political conditions, ethical dilemmas, and human rights concerns that put international trade relations at their most complex state.
In such levels of complexity, should The United States and Canada as two of the economic leaders of modern times, become more involved in the internal affairs of their partners or should they play fools in favor of trade relations? Furthermore, as the world’s economies turn towards Asia, should they interfere with human rights issues on these countries or should they just look away? Business is not just business, but more likely countries will put trade first and human rights second. The U.S and Canada have done something similar in their past relations with Indonesia, a country in Southeast Asia with a very interesting history, a tumultuous record of political stability, and a stained record on human rights.

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