The paper analyses main economic arguments for and against the enforcement of international labour standards. The analysis provides suggestion that different labour standards have a weak or negligible impact on such negative phenomenon as the 'race to the bottom' in terms of labour law or a decrease in employment in industrialized countries. On the other hand the analysis shows that the improvement of the international labour standards has different consequences for different countries. It is negligible for industrialized countries, and it is important for less developed countries in which it creates higher production costs and limits export possibilities. All the considerations lead to conclusion that each country should have a possibility to decide if and how to adjust its own labour law to international standards.