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USTR Team Holds Meetings in Jordan to Discuss Labor Rights

September 30, 2009

Amman, Jordan - Today the United States and the Kingdom of Jordan convened a meeting of the Labor Subcommittee of the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement. Lewis Karesh, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Labor Affairs, led a U.S. delegation that included the Departments of Labor and State. The subcommittee meeting was productive and officials discussed a broad range of labor issues, including initiatives to improve respect for labor rights and increase cooperative efforts.

"The meetings in Jordan are an important example of the United States' increased engagement on labor issues," said Karesh. "We are committed to supporting efforts by our FTA partners to improve labor conditions in their countries, and this is essential to ensuring that the benefits of trade are spread broadly."

While in Jordan, the U.S. delegation will meet with stakeholders from the private sector and civil society, including labor unions, and will also visit garment factories in the Qualifying Industrial Zones to gather information on working conditions. Upon departing Jordan on October 2, the delegation will travel to Bahrain and then to Oman to discuss labor issues in the context of the Free Trade Agreements with those countries.