The United States and China signed two Memoranda of Understanding in 2011 to strengthen and deepen bilateral cooperation in labor law enforcement, worker rights, and workplace safety and health. The following activities build on a decade-long cooperation and collaboration between the two countries:
U.S. - China Labor Dialogue
In the spring of 2010, the two governments brought their cooperation on labor and employment to a new height, with the creation of an annual labor dialogue between the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and China's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS). The topics under current discussions include worker rights, labor law enforcement, and social safety net programs.
U.S. - China Workplace Safety and Health Dialogue
In November 2012, U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and China's State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) launched an annual dialogue focusing on workplace safety and health challenges, strategies, policies and programs. This dialogue complements the Labor Dialogue with MOHRSS. Together, these two dialogues represent U.S. and Chinese efforts to improve worker rights and working conditions globally.
U.S. - China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED)
The Secretary of Labor participates in the U.S. - China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED). DOL contributes to the S&ED discussions in the area of rebalancing growth and leads the discussion on policies tools — such as enforcing minimum wage standards, promoting collective bargaining and improving social safety net programs — to raise household income and increase domestic demand.
U.S. - China Exchange and Cooperation on Workplace Safety
DOL and SAWS are currently conducting a technical exchange project focusing on workplace dust control, toxic and hazardous substances, personal protective equipment and injury and accident prevention.
DOL and China's National Coal Association Work to Improve Compliance in the Coal Industry
The Department of Labor (DOL) and the China National Coal Association (CNCA) signed an MOU in February to improve the coal industry's compliance with safety and health regulations in China. Having worked with the Chinese government to improve mine safety regulations and strengthen inspection and enforcement efforts for over a decade, DOL seeks to expand bilateral cooperation to include the coal industry through a partnership with the CNCA. Under the MOU, DOL and CNCA will develop exchange and technical cooperation projects and plan to engage mine workers and mine operators directly to address safety and health challenges in coal mines.
Congressional-Executive Commission on China
The U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor, when nominated by the White House, serves as a commissioner on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC). The CECC publishes an annual report on China's human rights practices.