U.S. Trade Representative to work to integrate labor standards in WTO rules

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WASHINGTON, June 10 - U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said on Thursday that she would work to integrate labor standards into the World Trade Organization rules, saying that they currently treat workers as an afterthought.

In an AFL-CIO union event to outline President Joe Biden's worker-centered trade policies, Tai said that rules to protect labor rights like those incorporated into the U.S.-Canada agreement on trade need to become the rule not the exception.

She said the Biden Administration is pushing a proposal at the WTO for member countries to commit to a deal against forced fishing subsidies and preventing harmful labor on fishing vessels.

Despite a preamble that says trade should be done with a commitment to guarantee full employment, the WTO rules don't include any labor standards, and workers are often an afterthought, Tai said. This needs to change.

She said the trade group of 164 members was created in 1995, but with few change regulations since then that must be modernized and revitalized if it is to remain relevant.

She said he needs to take drastic steps to reform it's negotiating function, commit to more transparency and be more transparent when disputes are settled. We are a society where the politics of health starts with the theory that women are not bad, or worse.

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