[Excerpt] This essay starts with an anecdote to suggest that foreign direct investment can serve workers' interests when their rights are respected. The rewards of investment should not be limited to U.S. workers, either. Workers around the world can benefit from investment flows linked to policies that advance workers' labor rights and living standards.
In this light, an investment agreement that promotes stability, predictability, the rule of law, and fairness in international trade can be a positive force for a "high road" dynamic in the rapidly globalizing economy, if it takes workers' rights into account. However, if such an agreement fails to incorporate strong protection for labor rights, it can make inevitable a "low road" of worker exploitation in global trade and investment flows.