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Bureau of International Labor Affairs
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Trade Negotiation & Enforcement

Project beneficiaries in India

ILAB's work to strengthen the linkages between labor standards and trade rules is designed to help improve rights and conditions for workers, which in turn can strengthen the global trading system by helping to ensure that the benefits of globalization are more broadly shared. Our work also helps level the playing field for U.S. workers by discouraging trading partners from lowering labor standards as a means of attracting trade and investment.

Our Strategy

ILAB advances workers' rights and working conditions around the world by:

  • Negotiating strong labor rights language in new trade and investment agreements and trade preference programs, as well as in the guidelines governing lending by multilateral development banks and international financial institutions;   
  • Administering the labor provisions of U.S. free trade agreements and trade preference programs to ensure that they are applied to protect the rights of workers; and 
  • Building the capacity of other countries and helping them improve their protection of workers' rights.    

ILAB also represents the interests of U.S. workers in U.S. government interagency policy deliberations on trade-related issues such as the elimination of unfair trade barriers, implementation of trade remedies, and the protection of intellectual property rights.


  • improve other governments' enforcement of laws and policies that protect workers' rights;
  • expand the ability of workers and their representatives to protect workers' rights;
  • increase governments' understanding of workers' rights, including specific labor commitments in trade agreements and the benefits of enforcing these obligations; and
  • strengthen employer compliance with international standards and national labor laws. Read More