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Countries all over the world have established export processing zones to support the idea of international trade. Examples of these include special economic zones, free trade zones, custom zones and warehouses. There are now more over than 600 EPZ’s in more than 100 countries. Most Labors working in these zones are females, and employment in EPZ means low wages, long work hours and an unsafe working atmosphere.

The first free trade zone in the U.S. was made in 1934. Manufactures and their distributors in the U.S. use these zones for getting shipment of goods that are reshipped in a smaller lot to the consumers throughout the nearby areas.  The United states and Mexico together are currently the most active EPZ operators, with respectively of 213 and 107 of them. Higher paying jobs have been supported in The United States and to grow the economy in the U.S. improving the countries opportunities to trade with Mexico and Canada.

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The North American Free Trade Agreement(NAFTA) is an agreement signed by the United States, Mexico and Canada which came to place on January 1, 1994. There are 2 additions of NAFTA, the North American Agreement on Environment Cooperation (NAAEC) and the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC). The past United States Senate, Clinton had stated that The North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation and the North American Agreement on Environment Cooperation is to protect the workers and the environment they work in. NAFTA also includes customs procedures, covering rules of origin, government procurement, investment, agriculture and sanitary, protection of intellectual, phytosanitary measures, trade in service, protection of intellectual property rights, and dispute settlement procedures.

A U.S. trade program named The Generalized System of Preferences(GSP) was designed to help the developing world by promoting the economic growth and providing preferential duty- free entry for up to 4800 products from 129 designated countries are territories. The imports into the U.S. totaled 11.1 billion dollars. The countries accounted for 65% of the total were Mexico, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Brazil.

In the U.S. the total number of woman in export processing zones are 2.25 million. Female workers in EPZ’s do not distinguish between male workers, according to the U.S. trade laws. Moreover, Woman workers benefit from the applications of these laws in equal measures to males. Woman in the U.S. have fundamental worker rights, such as the freedom to form a union or to negotiate a contract to improve wages, hours, and other working conditions.

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