People at ILR

Desiree LeClercq
people / faculty

Desiree LeClercq

Proskauer Employment and Labor Law Assistant Professor
International and Comparative Labor
Labor Relations, Law, and History


LeClercq is the Proskauer Employment and Labor Law Assistant Professor at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations in Ithaca, New York, where she teaches international labor law, U.S. labor law and employment law. She is the author or co-author of several articles (along with book chapter contributions) exploring incoherence between international labor law and U.S. trade law and constitutional law. She is currently working with Raymond Robertson (Texas A&M) and the ILO on a collaborative project empirically examining labor provisions in trade agreements to test accusations of protectionism. Her other current projects examine gender rights in trade, map out COVID-19 recovery activities across the U.N. system, and set out the implications of USMCA on U.S. jurisprudence.

Before joining the ILR School, LeClercq was the Director for Labor Affairs at USTR, where she negotiated and enforced labor-rights commitments in U.S. trade instruments. In that capacity, she frequently traveled to SE Asia, and was involved in several U.S. inter-agency task forces on forced labor, gender rights, and capacity building. Prior to joining USTR in 2016, LeClercq was a legal officer for the ILO in Geneva, Switzerland, where she specialized in maritime labor law and trade agreements. She began her legal career as a staff attorney to the Chairman of the NLRB in 2006.

LeClercq is a 2006 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, a 2002 graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington, and a member of the New York bar. She lives in Ithaca with her husband and rambunctious toddler.


Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Desiree LeClercq, Karen Curtis. 2020. Strengthening Labor Rights in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement: A Lost Opportunity? . in THE TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT: ITS SUBSTANCE AND IMPACT ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE, NAFTA, AND OTHER FTAS . Cambridge University Press, 2020. David A. Gantz & Jorge Huerta Goldman. (30)
  • Desiree LeClercq. 2020. World Trade Organization. in INTERNATIONAL LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAWS. Bloomberg Law, 2020. Ute Krudewagen.
  • Desiree LeClercq, Lewis Karesh. 2020. Labor Provisions in U.S. Free Trade Agreements Under Trade Promotion Authority. in INTERNATIONAL LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAWS. USA: Bloomberg Law, 2020. Ute Krudewagen.

Book Reviews


Professional Activities

  • Rethinking Gender provisions in trade agreements: should we rethink the current approach?. Presented to World Trade Organization. Virtual. 2021.
  • The Disparate Treatment of Rights in Trade. Presented to U.S. International Trade Commission. 2021.
  • Outsourcing Enforcement: The Crisis at Sea and of Governance. Presented to Cornell University. 2021.
  • Empowering Women through international Trade Agreements. 2021.
  • Outsourcing Enforcement: The Crisis at Sea and of Governance. 2021.
  • Administrating Emergency. 2021.
  • Administrating Emergency. 2021.
  • How do we fix trade policy to help workers?. 2021.
  • The Disparate Treatment of Rights in Trade. 2020.
  • The Disparate Treatment of Rights in Trade. 2020.
  • Labor Rights in the Era of Covid 19. 2020.
  • The USMCA (the new NAFTA): Moving to Effective Enforcement of Labor Rights. 2020.
  • Global Governance During the Pandemic: Implications of Force Majeure and National Emergency for Worker Rights Protections. 2020.
  • Designing International Economic Law: Challenges and Opportunities” presenting on A Rules-Based Approach to Jam’s Restrictive Immunity: Implications for International Organizations. 2020.
  • 2019.

Honors and Awards

  • MacIntyre Award for Exemplary Teaching & Advising , ILR School. 2021


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