WASHINGTON – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Japan's Minister for Economy, Trade, and Industry Nishimura Yasutoshi signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) to launch a Task Force on the Promotion of Human Rights and International Labor Standards in Supply Chains.
The United States and Japan are working together through the U.S.- Japan Partnership on Trade to advance a common trade agenda, which includes promoting respect for internationally-recognized labor rights. The Task Force was established under the U.S.-Japan Partnership on Trade.
The Task Force represents an opportunity for the United States and Japan to protect and promote human rights and internationally recognized labor rights, including prohibiting the use of forced labor in supply chains through trade policy. Through the Task Force, the United States and Japan will exchange information on relevant laws, policies, and guidance; facilitate stakeholder dialogues with businesses and worker organizations; and promote best practices for human rights and internally recognized labor rights due diligence. These areas of cooperation are designed to protect workers and enhance predictability and clarity for businesses as they seek to contribute to resilient and sustainable supply chains.
“From their leadership in the development of the Group of 7 Trade Ministers’ Statement on Forced Labor to their first-ever release of human rights due diligence guidelines for responsible supply chains to their commitment to carry out shared principles to combat forced labor with the United States and the European Union, the Government of Japan has consistently been a trusted partner in the fight to promote workers’ rights and drive the race to the top in trade,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “The launch of this Task Force is another example of how trade can be a force for good throughout the world. Developing new tools that bring together the combined expertise of agencies across the Governments of the United States and Japan will help contribute to tackling worker exploitation in global supply chains.”
On the United States’ side, the Task Force is comprised of the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Department of State, Department of Commerce, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and other government agencies, as appropriate.
On Japan’s side, the Task Force is comprised of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other ministries as appropriate.