WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and their Government of Jordan counterparts met and issued a joint statement regarding the second Labor Subcommittee meeting under the U.S-Jordan Free Trade Agreement in Amman, Jordan.
During the June 25-26 meetings, officials reaffirmed their commitment to the labor provisions of the FTA and discussed: possible areas for future cooperation, activities to strengthen institutional capacity and labor law enforcement and compliance, child labor and the protection of vulnerable populations, and areas of common interest. Those include protections against gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace, occupational safety and health, and the promotion of tripartite social dialogue.
The subcommittee is responsible for overseeing the implementation and progress review under the Labor Chapter of the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement. Each agreement's Labor Chapter establishes a similar body to discuss labor issues. Amit Pandya, chief of staff of the Bureau for International Labor Affairs at the Labor Department, and Carlos H. Romero, deputy assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Labor, led the U.S. delegation, which included a public session with workers, employers, civil society organizations and the general public. Joining U.S. officials were their Jordanian counterparts from the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Industry and Trade. A roundtable on challenges and opportunities for promoting labor rights in the garment manufacturing sector, attracting a crowd of nearly 40 participants, was also held.
"A sustained and transparent dialogue on labor matters, with public participation, is crucial to full implementation of the FTA's labor provisions," said Pandya. "We applaud the Government of Jordan for the important steps it has taken to protect workers' rights and appreciate the continued commitment to work together to advance labor rights as a meaningful part of this important bilateral agreement."
The joint statement is available at the department's Bureau of International Labor Affairs' Jordan page. More information on official labor meetings under Free Trade Agreements is available on the FTA Labor Meetings page