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Hard hatUSTR's Office of Labor Affairs negotiates and implements labor provisions of bilateral, regional, and multilateral trade agreements.

The office evaluates adherence to worker rights provisions of trade preference programs (GSP, ATPDEA, AGOA, CBI). The office leads the effort to develop positions and build international consensus on trade and labor issues in regional and multilateral fora, including the International Labor Organization (ILO), World Trade Organization (WTO), Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Inter-American Council of Ministers of Labor, and Summit of the Americas.

The office works interagency in developing capacity building initiatives to support adherence to international labor standards by trading partners.


United States Proceeds with Labor Enforcement Case Against Guatemala

The United States is proceeding with a labor enforcement case against Guatemala under the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR).  The U.S. has engaged extensively with Guatemala in an effort to improve labor law enforcement, which has led to the signing of a groundbreaking Enforcement Plan between the United States and Guatemala in April 2013.  Guatemala took a number of important steps to implement the Enforcement Plan; however, critical actions agreed to under the Enforcement Plan still remain outstanding.  Further steps are necessary to demonstrate that the legal reforms Guatemala has undertaken are being effectively implemented, leading to concrete improvements on the ground.

Learn more here.

New Report on the Colombian Labor Action Plan

In addition to the strong labor commitments in the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, President Obama insisted that the Colombian government address a number of serious labor concerns. In April 2011, the United States and Colombia announced the Colombian Action Plan Related to Labor Rights, which includes concrete steps to improve labor protections. Since then, the Government of Colombia has made meaningful progress under the plan, but important work remains. 

Read the report here.

Read more on the Colombian Labor Action Plan here