USTR, DOL Hold Inaugural Labor Sub-Committee Meeting in Morocco
Rabat, Morocco – Today the United States and Morocco convened a meeting of the Sub-Committee on Labor Affairs created under the United States-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (Agreement). The Labor Sub-Committee is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Agreement’s Labor Chapter. The U.S. delegation was led by Timothy Wedding, Deputy Director of the Office of Trade and Labor Affairs in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs and Laura Buffo, Director for Labor Affairs at the Office of the United States Trade Representative and included representatives from the Department of State and the U.S. Embassy. Mr. Jamal Rhmani, the Minister of Employment and Professional Training hosted the meeting.
Representatives at the meeting reaffirmed their commitments under the Agreement to recognize and protect the rights stated in the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. The Sub-Committee agreed to a series of cooperative labor activities to improve enforcement of labor laws and agreed to hold more regular meetings to review progress of the Labor Chapter commitments. “Based on the productive discussion we have had in the Sub-Committee meeting, we look forward to working with Morocco to address the challenges to fully protecting worker rights and improving labor conditions,” said Dr. Wedding. “Through ongoing engagement, we hope to improve livelihoods and respect for workers’ rights.”
The Sub-Committee held a session with representatives of worker and employer organizations to discuss implementation of the Labor Chapter. “Public sessions are critical to strengthening communication and ensuring transparency among social partners,” said Buffo. “The session included a productive exchange of perspectives that will help to further the successful implementation of the Chapter’s commitments.”
The U.S. delegation held a series of side meetings with Moroccan stakeholders from the private sector and civil society, including labor unions to further monitor Labor Chapter implementation and discussed a broad range of labor issues, including initiatives to improve respect for labor rights.