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Labor
Protecting basic labor rights in the Asia-Pacific region and leveling the playing field for American workers.
 
Ensuring respect for worker rights is a core value. That is why in TPP the United States is seeking to build on the strong labor provisions in the most recent U.S. trade agreements by seeking enforceable rules that protect the rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining; discourage trade in goods produced by forced labor, including forced child labor; and establish mechanisms to monitor and address labor concerns.
 
OBJECTIVES
  • Secure broad commitments that would require all TPP countries to adopt and maintain in their laws and practices the fundamental labor rights as recognized by the ILO, including:

    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining;
    • Elimination of forced labor;
    • Abolition of child labor and a prohibition on the worst forms of child labor; and
    • The elimination of employment discrimination.
  • Secure additional commitments by TPP countries, to have laws governing minimum wages, acceptable hours of work, and occupational safety and health.

  • Ensure that labor commitments are subject to the same dispute settlement mechanism, including potential trade sanctions, that applies to other chapters of the Agreement.

  • Establish rules that will ensure that TPP countries do not waive or derogate from fundamental labor laws in a manner that affects trade or investment, and that they take initiatives to discourage trade in goods produced by forced labor, regardless of whether the source country is a TPP country.

  • Protect against the degradation of either fundamental rights or working conditions in export processing zones.

  • Establish a means for the public to raise concerns directly with TPP governments if they believe a TPP country is not meeting its labor commitments, and requirements that governments consider and respond to those concerns.

  • Ensure transparency related to the implementation of the labor obligations.

  • Provide access to fair, equitable and transparent administrative and judicial proceedings, as provided in U.S. law.

  • Provide effective remedies for violations of TPP countries’ labor laws.

  • Establish a mechanism for cooperation and coordination on labor issues, including opportunities for stakeholder input in identifying areas of cooperation.

 
RESOURCES
For more information on trade and labor, visit WWW.USTR.GOV/ISSUE-AREAS/LABOR