Statement from Ambassador Katherine Tai in Recognition of International Workers’ Day

May 01, 2024

Workers are the backbone of the economy—not only in America, but all around the world.  Their success is our collective success, and today, we celebrate and honor workers everywhere in solidarity, as one.
I am proud to serve our nation under the most pro-union president in our history.  As President Biden says, the middle class built America, and unions built the middle class.  They will continue to build this country, and we are witnessing a wave of wins across sectors, as workers organize for fair pay and better working conditions.  But we know these wins do not exist in a vacuum.  They stand on the shoulders of generations of workers who fought for their rights—new bricks being laid upon a foundation of victories for working communities around the world. 
From Day One, the Biden-Harris Administration has been committed to further pushing this progress forward.  This is why President Biden signed the first-ever Presidential Memorandum to advance global workers’ rights.  Our government is working as one to empower workers, defend labor unions and organizations, and build broad coalitions in support of these goals.
Our worker-centered trade policy is an important part of this vision.  We have positively impacted the lives of nearly 30,000 workers, as well as their families and communities, by enforcing the United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism.  This not only benefits workers in Mexico—it empowers U.S. workers by leveling the playing field and reducing incentives to ship jobs overseas.  Not only that, USTR is negotiating strong labor commitments with trading partners and fighting against unfair, non-market policies and practices by the People’s Republic of China and other economies that harm workers.
For trade policy to work for the common good, we must put working communities at the center, and my office will not waver from this agenda.  On this day, let us recommit ourselves to building our middle classes together, for a fairer, more equitable society here and elsewhere.