June 23, 2020

Cortez Masto, Casey Introduce Legislation to Push for Women’s Rights in International Trade

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) proposed legislation to strengthen and update Generalized System Preferences (GSP) standards on worker rights and ensure countries receiving GSP afford equal rights and protection under the law, regardless of gender. Around the world, women face disproportionate challenges in the workplace and barriers to entering the workforce. The Women’s Economic Empowerment in Trade Act would ensure countries receiving trade preferences under GSP strengthen standards on worker rights and the rights of women.

“Women disproportionately face challenges in the workplace including legal barriers to work, restrictions on engaging in collective action, restrictions on property ownership, educational opportunities, and heartbreaking reports of violence, harassment and wage discrimination,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “We have to tear down these barriers and do everything we can to create safe work places for women in the United States and across the globe. I’m proud to introduce a bill that would take us one step further in protecting and strengthening worker’s and women's rights.”

“The improvements put forward in this legislation to the Generalized System of Preferences are long overdue. When it comes to upholding the rights of workers and the rights of women, the United States should lead the way. U.S. trade laws must align with the central objectives of supporting women’s full economic participation, globally. The Women’s Economic Empowerment in Trade Act will ensure the rights of women and measures on non-discrimination, and violence and harassment in the world of work, are incorporated as required standards for counties to receive trade preferences under GSP,” said Senator Casey.

The full text of the legislation can be found HERE.

The legislation is endorsed by: the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), AFL-CIO, CWA, USW.