The phenomenon of increasing political and economic interdependence among the countries and regions of the world. The term has come to be used to describe an international perspective encouraging free(r) trade, and the deregulation of markets. Associated with Globalization are the growing reliance on an international labor force, the outsourcing of jobs and tasks from North America and Europe, international trade agreements, and the resulting effects on income inequality and the standard of living. Anti-globalization activists argue that this form of globalization accentuates the gap between rich and poor and punishes developing countries in particular. Proponents argue that free trade and deregulation will result in an increased standard of living by stimulating the economy in developing countries.