Office of Labor Affairs
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The Office of Labor Affairs is responsible for developing and implementing U.S. trade policy related to labor, particularly the adoption and enforcement of internationally recognized labor rights, including freedom of association; the recognition of the right to collective bargaining; the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor; the abolition of child labor; the elimination of discrimination with respect to employment and occupation; and acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health. The Labor office leads negotiation and implementation of labor provisions of bilateral, regional, and multilateral trade agreements. The office evaluates adherence to worker rights provisions of trade preference programs, including those in the Generalized System of Preferences, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, and the Caribbean Basin Initiative. The office leads the U.S. effort to develop positions and build international consensus on trade and labor issues in regional and multilateral fora, including the International Labor Organization (ILO), World Trade Organization (WTO), Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The office works with other U.S. agencies to report on, and develop capacity-building initiatives to support, labor law reform and enforcement by trading partners.
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