USMCA Trade Agreement LGBT Protections Weakened by Trump Administration

The final version of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was signed on November 30th, and it includes new language that potentially nullifies protections for the LGBTQ community. The new trade deal still includes language that says the three countries “shall implement policies that protect workers against discrimination” including on the basis of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” This is the first time an international trade deal has included workplace protections for the LGBTQ community.

However, footnote 13 stipulates,
“The United States’ existing federal agency policies regarding the hiring of federal workers are sufficient to fulfill the obligations set forth in this Article. The Article thus requires no additional action on the part of the United States, including any amendments to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in order for the United States to be in compliance with the obligations set forth in this Article.”

Sarah Kate Ellis, president of U.S.-based LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD, responded about it in a tweet, “Though the new USMCA trade deal includes protections for LGBTQ workers, they’re effectively nullified by a footnote. Once again @realDonaldTrump caves to anti-LGBTQ activists and squanders the United States’ status as a leader in LGBTQ equality.” In order for the USMCA to be enacted, all three nations must ratify it. In the U.S., Congress has vowed to present it for approval in 2019.