The Trump administration has signed a trade deal with Canada and Mexico exempting the United States from discrimination provisions to protect LGBTI people.
US President Donald Trump signed the deal together with Canada’s Justin Trudeau and Mexico’s Enrique Pena Nieto. They met at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, finalizing the deal on 30 November.
Interestingly, a line in the original draft protecting LGBTI rights has been significantly watered down.
According to www.globalnews.ca, the original text included a line referring to LGBTI rights. The original agreement pledged all three countries to support ‘policies that protect workers against employment discrimination on the basis of sex, including with regard to pregnancy, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, gender identity’.
The US has no federal law banning discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity at the moment. Ahead of the deal, congressional Republicans had threatened they wouldn’t support the deal if it included such protections.
The final deal, in fact, reworded the line overlooking LGBTI protection. It refers vaguely to a commitment to implement ‘policies that it considers appropriate to protect workers against employment discrimination’.
A footnote on the agreement says American federal hiring policies ‘are sufficient to fulfill the obligations’ on labour rights, and ‘thus requires no additional action’ by the US.
The decision has been harshly criticized by LGBTI rights advocates.
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. https://t.co/UNu3Nwfw0h
— Sarah Kate Ellis (@sarahkateellis) December 3, 2018
President and CEO of GLAAD Sarah Kate Ellis tweeted about the deal.
‘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,’ she wrote.