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Worker Institute Blog

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The Worker Institute brings together researchers, educators and students with practitioners in labor, business and policymaking to address issues related to confronting systemic inequality and building a fair economy, robust democracy and just society. We will share opinion, analysis, research, data, insights and training from our faculty and staff.

How U.S. Trade Policy Affects Workers

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A Conversation with Ambassador Tai and Cornell Experts

Join us on March 2nd at 2 pm EST when United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Katherine Tai will discuss USTR's initiative to study the distributional effects of U.S. trade policy on workers.

This webinar presents a unique opportunity for a conversation on U.S trade policy and its impact on the lives of working Americans, including workers with disabilities, Black and Hispanic workers, LQBGT, and other under-represented communities. The ILR School, in partnership with the Worker Institute, Buffalo Co-Lab, and the Cornell Law School, will speak with the Ambassador about two research agendas that will feed into USTR’s study, including their preliminary findings, and will ask Ambassador Tai specific questions related to marginalized workers. 

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Featuring: 

PATRICIA CAMPOS-MEDINA
Executive Director, The Worker Institute Cornell ILR School

Dr. Campos-Medina is a researcher and labor educator focusing on the intersection of race, immigration status and worker’s rights. She is a Senior Extension Associate and the Executive Director of the Worker Institute at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University where she leads research, policy innovation and training to advance worker justice, collective bargaining rights and the interest of workers in today’s economy and society.

Dr. Campos-Medina is considered a policy expert on workplace and labor issues, women rights, voting rights, immigrant worker justice, immigration policy and US trade relations. She is community leader serving as President of Latina Civic and PODER PAC, two organizations advancing women representation in state legislatures and in the US Congress. She is the current PAC Chair for NJ Citizen Action, an organization advancing policy reform for working families and is a board member of NJ Working Families Party. She currently Serves as an Advisory Committee Member for ELLA Wins/Ready to Run, a program of the Center for American Women in Politics and she is a Visiting Fellow at the Eagleton Institute, Rutgers University-New Brunswick. 

RUSSELL WEAVER
Director of Research, ILR Buffalo Co-Lab

Russell Weaver, PhD, is a quantitative geographer and Director of Research at the Cornell ILR Buffalo Co-Lab. He was previously an Associate Professor (with tenure) in the Texas State University Department of Geography, where he taught courses in community geography, community development, urban planning, geographic thought, and quantitative data analysis. 

His research programs are aimed at understanding pathways for context-sensitive, sustainable, and equitable community economic development. He is the lead author of Shrinking Cities: Understanding Urban Decline in the United States, and his work appears in such journals as The Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Ecological Economics, Applied Geography, and Community Development. Weaver holds a master’s degree in Economics and a PhD in Geography from SUNY Buffalo.=

ALEX COLVIN
Dean Cornell University, ILR School

Alexander Colvin, Ph.D. '99, is the Kenneth F. Kahn '69 Dean and the Martin F. Scheinman '75, 'MS '76 Professor of Conflict Resolution at the ILR School, Cornell University. He is an associate member of the Cornell Law Faculty. His research and teaching focuses on employment dispute resolution, with a particular emphasis on procedures in nonunion workplaces and the impact of the legal environment on organizations. 

His current research projects include empirical investigations of employment arbitration and a cross-national study of labor and employment law change in the Anglo-American countries. He has published articles in journals such as Industrial & Labor Relations Review, Industrial Relations, British Journal of Industrial Relations, Personnel Psychology, Relations Industrielles, the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, and the Cornell Journal of Law & Public Policy. He is also co-author (with Harry C. Katz and Thomas A. Kochan) of the textbook An Introduction to Collective Bargaining and Industrial Relations, 4th edition (Irwin-McGraw-Hill).

CHANTAL THOMAS
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Radice Family Professor of Law, Cornell Law School 

Chantal Thomas is Professor of Law at Cornell Law School, where she also directs the Clarke Initiative for Law and Development in the Middle East and North Africa. She teaches in the areas of Law and Development and International Economic Law.

Prior to joining Cornell, Professor Thomas chaired the Law Department of the American University in Cairo, and also served on the University of Minnesota and Fordham University law faculties. She has been a Visiting Professor teaching international economic law at institutions such as Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, the Center for Transnational Legal Studies in London, and Soochow University in China. 

KATHERINE TAI
Ambassador Katherine Tai

Ambassador Katherine Tai was sworn in as the 19th United States Trade Representative on March 18, 2021. As a member of the President’s Cabinet, Ambassador Tai is the principal trade advisor, negotiator, and spokesperson on U.S. trade policy.

Prior to her unanimous Senate confirmation, Ambassador Tai spent most of her career in public service focusing on international economic diplomacy, monitoring, and enforcement. She previously served as Chief Trade Counsel and Trade Subcommittee Staff Director for the House Ways and Means Committee in the United States Congress. In this capacity, Ambassador Tai played a pivotal role in shaping U.S. trade law, negotiations strategies, and bilateral and multilateral agreements, including the recently re-negotiated United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. 

DESIREE LECLERCQ (Moderator)
Proskauer Employment and Labor Law Assistant Professor, ILR School

Desiree 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.
 

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