ICAR Upcoming Report Launch: Strengthening Labor and Human Rights in Developing Countries through Trade

How to Reform the U.S. Trade Preference Program to Protect Workers and Raise Labor Rights Standards Globally

Thursday, February 1, 2018 |  12:00-1:00PM

Russell Senate Office Building, Room 188

A light lunch will be provided


Please join the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) and distinguished experts on trade and labor rights to discuss how trade can be leveraged to increase labor and human rights standards in developing countries. Specifically, this event will launch a new ICAR report, β€œThe Use of U.S. Generalized System of Preferences to Promote Labor Rights for All,” which examines the implementation and enforcement gaps of the GSP.

The GSP, codified under the Trade Act of 1974, was designed to promote economic development in developing countries by allowing duty-free exports to the United States, while raising labor standards through trade. However, enforcement of the GSP qualification criteria has been weak. As a result, countries with some of the worst labor rights records in the world have been provided duty-free access to U.S. markets. As such, they have gained an unfair advantage over other countries, including the United States. This undermines the effectiveness and credibility of the program.

The panel will discuss policy options for addressing the compliance gaps that will both protects workers and communities in developing countries and raises standards among U.S. trading partners.


  • Jeff Vogt, Legal Director, Rule of Law Department, Solidarity Center
  • Cassandra Waters, Global Worker Rights Specialist, AFL-CIO
  • Eric Biel, Former Associate Deputy Undersecretary for International Labor Affairs, Department of Labor (2012-2017)
  • Sophia Lin, Legal and Policy Coordinator, ICAR (moderator)

Special thanks to the office of Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) for co-hosting this event