President Donald Trump on Friday signed
an updated trade agreement with Canada and Mexico that includes LGBT
The NAFTA update includes a provision –
pushed by Canada – that encourages countries to adopt policies
prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender
identity in the workplace.
Trump signed the trade deal at an event
in Buenos Aires with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and
Mexican President Enrique Peña
Trump praised the agreement, which he
referred to as the United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), but
failed to mention the LGBT provision.
“All of our countries will benefit
greatly,” Trump said. “It is probably the largest trade deal
ever made, also. In the United States, the new trade pact will
support high-paying manufacturing jobs and promote greater access for
American exports across the range of sectors, including our farming,
manufacturing and service industries.”
Colorado Representative Doug Lamborn, a
Republican, had led a group of 38 House Republicans in calling on the
president to remove the trade deal's LGBT provision, saying that it's
“no place for the adoption of social policy.”
In a statement released after Trump
signed the agreement, Lamborn called the language's inclusion “a
loss for American sovereignty.”
“It is troubling that the USMCA is
pushing language contradictory to this administration's policies,”
Lamborn said, a reference to the administration's efforts to promote
policies that exclude sexual orientation and gender identity in
defining sex discrimination.
“The Untied States should protect its
sovereignty over the interests of other countries. A trade agreement
is no place for the adoption of social policy,” he added.
Congress must ratify the trade deal
before it can take effect.