Remarks by Ambassador Katherine Tai at a Meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Secretary Blinken.
It is an honor to be here with you and other colleagues on the Task Force to share how my office is advancing the Administration’s commitment to combat human trafficking.
As you are aware, this Administration has been taking a different approach to trade. We are using trade as a force for good by putting workers at the center and empowering them and their communities to thrive in a rapidly changing global economy.
We are incentivizing a race to the top, where workers can compete on the basis of skills and creativity, not exploitative cost advantages, labor law violations, or degrading practices.
This includes making sure that goods made by forced labor do not enter the United States, and doing everything we can to eliminate forced labor in supply chains globally.
In 2023, we focused on creating a team of like-minded trading partners that are all committed to this cause, and we will continue this work in 2024.
USTR developed and is negotiating the highest standard labor texts ever developed for three landmark agreements: the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, the United States-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade, and the United States-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership.
The proposed text would commit partners to address forced labor in supply chains.
Additionally, we are continuing our close collaboration with the European Union through the U.S.-EU Trade and Labor Dialogue to further enhance our coordination.
With Japan, in this very room last January, we launched a Task Force to Promote Human Rights and International Labor Standards in Supply Chains. The task force continues to meet to deepen our partnership with Japan on this issue. 
In addition, this week, the United States, Canada, and Mexico are holding a trilateral dialogue on forced labor enforcement under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. We are continuing to exchange information on enforcement approaches and best practices related to addressing forced labor risks in our hemisphere.
We are leveraging all available trade tools to clean up our supply chains, including through the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiations to address the prevalent use of forced labor on fishing vessels.
As a member of Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force, USTR also looks forward to year three of implementing the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and accelerating the expansion of the UFLPA Entity List.
Finally, USTR will release our first ever Forced Labor Trade Strategy later this year, which is the result of great teamwork with many of your agencies and also with labor organizations, governments, civil society, survivors, and businesses.
I look forward to our continued collaboration over the next year. Thank you.