Statement from Ambassador Katherine Tai on Labor Day

September 04, 2023

WASHINGTON – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today released the following statement in recognition of Labor Day:

Labor Day is an important opportunity to recognize, support, and honor the workers, unions, and labor rights activists’ essential contributions.

In March, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden invited Julie Chávez Rodriguez, granddaughter of legendary labor leader César Chávez, to plant a rose bush in the White House Rose Garden in his honor. This symbolic re-rooting of the spirit of the American labor movement into the soil of the White House grounds is indicative of the Biden-Harris Administration’s unwavering commitment to America’s workers and unions.

From day one, President Biden has put workers first and is building our economy from the bottom up and the middle out. Under Bidenomics, historic legislative triumphs like the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are working in tandem to create good-paying jobs, revitalize American manufacturing, and level the playing field. 

We value workers’ voices, meeting them where they are, and putting them front and center in the policymaking process. USTR has revitalized our Labor Advisory Committee, and I am a proud member of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and the Vice President’s White House Task Force of Worker Power and Organizing.

At USTR, we are implementing a worker-centered trade policy, a stark change from past efforts, which prioritized corporate profits and low cost -- at any cost -- over the interests of workers and their livelihoods.

Economic security for working people is vital to our democracy. We are making sure our trade policy is one more tool to advance the President’s commitment to working people. We are lifting up workers both in the United States and around the world by enforcing labor standards in existing trade agreements, like the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and negotiating for high labor standards in new agreements, like the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. As a member of the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force, USTR is working to ensure that products made using forced labor are not imported into our country and gaining access to American markets.

President Biden promised to rebuild the backbone of the country – the middle class. I am proud to work alongside him and serve him in the most pro-worker administration in history.