President Donald Trump’s new trade deal proposal with Mexico and Canada provides protections for LGBTQ workers, and Republicans are not happy with the inclusion: a group of 38 GOP lawmakers signed a letter to the president asking him to nix those provisions.
> “A trade agreement is no place for the adoption of social policy,” Republican lawmakers state in the letter, which was published on Friday. “It is especially inappropriate and insulting to our sovereignty to needlessly submit to social policies which the United States Congress has so far explicitly refused to accept."
> The new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which Trump reached with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in October, currently includes a provision protecting workers against "sex discrimination," including discrimination on the basis of "gender identity."
Given the Trump administration’s efforts to "restore the historic definition of 'sex' to a person's anatomical sex at birth," the Republicans expressed deep concern that the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative included "contradictory language" in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
> "As a sovereign nation, the United States has the right to decide when, whether and how to tackle issues of civil rights, protected classes and workplace rights," Republicans said in their letter.
> "At the same time, your Administration is carrying out a cohesive agenda regarding policies surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity, in the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services specifically, it is deeply troubling that the Office of the U.S.Trade Representative (USTR) has included contradictory language in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement," they continue.
> "Additionally, encouraging recent reports indicate that the Department of Health and Human Services is working to restore the historic definition of 'sex' to a person's anatomical sex at birth," the letter said.