Worker Rights Provisions in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) [Updated September 18, 2020] [open pdf - 487KB]
From the Overview: "Worker rights are a prominent issue in U.S. FTA [Free Trade Agreement] negotiations. Some stakeholders believe worker rights provisions are necessary to protect U.S. workers from perceived unfair competition and to raise labor standards abroad. Others believe these rights are more appropriately addressed at the International Labor Organization (ILO) or through cooperative efforts and capacity building. Since 1988, Congress has included worker rights as a principal negotiating objective in Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation. The United States has been in the forefront of using FTAs to promote core internationally recognized worker rights. Labor provisions have evolved significantly since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), moving from side agreements to integral chapters within FTA texts, with more provisions subject to enforcement. The conclusion of NAFTA renegotiations resulted in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaces NAFTA and has a new labor chapter and enforcement mechanism. USMCA entered into force in July 2020."
CRS In Focus, IF10046
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/