President Donald Trump has rendered a North America trade agreement’s LGBTQ provisions meaningless by a footnote.
The trade deal replacing NAFTA. United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), includes a paragraph that protects LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in the workplace. It says that the three countries will “implement policies that protect workers against employment discrimination on the basis of sex, including with regard to […] sexual orientation, gender identity.”
Republicans in U.S. Congress denounced Canada’s provision, claiming it was “insulting to our sovereignty.”
So, a footnote has been added to the deal that effectively nullifies the provision:
“The United States’ existing federal agency policies regarding the hiring of federal workers are sufficient to fulfill the obligations set forth in this Article. The Article thus requires no additional action on the part of the United States, including any amendments to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in order for the United States to be in compliance with the obligations set forth in this Article.”
Even though the footnote argues that U.S. sufficiently protects LGBTQ+ employees, the federal government does not ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in the private sector.