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U.S. Trade Ambassador Provides “Candid” Thoughts In ILR Webinar

Katherine Tai, United States Trade Representative Ambassador, joined members of the ILR community for a panel discussion regarding her initiative to study the distributional effects of U.S. trade policy on workers, specifically workers with disabilities, Black and Hispanic workers, LGBTQ people and other under-represented communities.

“Ambassador Tai proved that she is paving a new path in U.S. trade policy by meeting with Cornell ILR School faculty and Outreach teams,” said Assistant Professor Desiree LeClercq, who moderated the event. “She was generous with her time and candid with her thoughts.”

In her opening remarks, Ambassador Tai stated, “We have been reexamining who is at the table when we develop policy so that more perspectives and lived experiences are represented.”

ILR School Dean Alex Colvin joined Ambassador Tai on the panel, as well as Patricia Campos-Medina, executive director of the Worker Institute, Chantel Thomas, associate dean for academic affairs at the Cornell Law School and Russell Weaver, director of research at the ILR Buffalo Co-Lab.

The Cornell faculty presented a litany of relevant research underscoring the ways in which workers have been marginalized, and how racial inequalities have increased over time by policies and practices implemented in both the public and private sectors.

“USTR’s commissioned study to the U.S. International Trade Commission provides an ideal entry point for the ILR School to draw on our accumulated knowledge of international labor rights and longstanding relationships with marginalized worker communities to help shape a more equitable trade policy,” said LeClercq. “I hope that this webinar marks the beginning of a fruitful relationship between the ILR School and USTR to support the Biden Administration’s pro-worker agenda.”

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