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Bureau of International Labor Affairs
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Office of International Economic Affairs (OIEA)

Through membership on Executive Branch committees concerned with foreign economic policy, the Labor Department participates in formulating international trade, investment, and economic policy; advises the President on the labor implications of trade legislation; and helps in negotiating and administering international trade agreements.

Within ILAB, the Office of International Economic Affairs (OIEA) is responsible for assuring that full consideration is given to the impacts of trade and investment policies on domestic employment and U.S. workers' welfare. OIEA's responsibilities are carried out by its Trade Policy Division and Foreign Economic Research Division.

Trade Policy Division

The Trade Policy Division provides staff support for the Department of Labor's participation in the interagency development and implementation of U.S. policy related to multilateral and bilateral trade and investment issues. The Division, for example, participates actively in the Doha Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations under the auspices of the WTO, the negotiation of U.S. free trade agreements, and the administration of U.S. trade preference programs. In addition, the Division has devoted substantial resources to worker rights issues in the context of international trade, including the implementation of the worker rights' provisions of U.S. trade legislation.

The Division is also active in the development, negotiation, and implementation of international commodity agreements, particularly in the area of textiles and apparel. The Division helps formulate U.S. policy in the area of import relief for imports that injure or threaten to injure domestic industries and their workers. The Division also participates in interagency deliberations concerning the elimination of certain unfair trade practices and provides input into other trade policy areas (such as trade remedies and national security investigations) that may have an impact on U.S. workers.

Foreign Economic Research Division

The Division of Foreign Economic Research provides evaluations of the effects of U.S. international economic policies and foreign economic developments on the earnings and employment of workers in the United States. The research program includes analysis of the impact of changes in international trade, investment, and technology transfer on U.S. workers. Division staff advise senior Department of Labor officials regarding the application, interpretation, and relevance of economic research to current international economic policy issues, and provide research results and economic analyses as requested for the formulation of international economic policies and programs. This research may be supplemented by outside contractors.