At the end of 2018, the United States, Mexico, and Canada agreed to include a provision promoting the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in the workforce in a new trade agreement – the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The inclusion of this provision was a first of its kind in any free trade agreement (FTA), but follows a recent trend of including provisions that promote human rights. For example, the USMCA also includes provisions promoting and protecting workers, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership includes provisions promoting women. Although these provisions go beyond the foundational purpose of FTAs – to facilitate trade and eliminate trade barriers – they are a recognition that international trade policies have significant spillover effects and therefore cannot be considered in a vacuum. Come learn about an alternative tool and unique lens to address human rights considerations. The workshop will explore human rights provisions in FTAs, including LGBTQ+ related provisions, and the inclusion of such provisions in future trade agreements. As part of the workshop, experts in the field will provide an overview of FTAs, including their enforcement mechanisms, and will discuss how FTAs compare to other international treaties and agreements that have been the primary bases of promoting human rights in the international arena. As part of this discussion, the panelists will consider the effectiveness of human rights provisions in FTAs, and whether FTAs should include such provisions. The workshop is intended for audiences with all levels of knowledge of international trade law and will include foundational introductions to each issue. Even if you have no current knowledge of international trade law, come learn about these hot topics in what is sure to be a lively and interesting discussion.
Speakers: Justin Becker (Sidley Austin LLP); Stacy Ettinger (K&L Gates); William Isasi (Covington & Burling LLP); Arun Venkataraman (Visa)
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