Justin Trudeau resists GOP push to gut LGBT rights from trade deal

US President Donald Trump speaks with Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has said that a trade deal with the US should represent “shared values,” as Republicans attempt to strip LGBT+ rights protections from the agreement.

40 US Republican lawmakers penned a letter to President Donald Trump on Friday (November 16) urging him to gut LGBT+ protections in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a proposed trilateral trade deal between the three countries.

Wording in the draft text of the deal includes a pledge to enact “policies that protect workers against employment discrimination on the basis of sex, including with regard to pregnancy, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, gender identity.”

US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House.

US President Donald Trump greets Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House on February 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty)

The Republicans, who have long opposed efforts to introduce federal anti-LGBT discrimination protections in Congress, claimed that the deal would undermine the right of the United States “to decide when, whether and how to tackle issues of civil rights, protected classes and workplace rights.”

Republican lawmakers protested the inclusion of LGBT+ protections in the USMCA as “inappropriate and insulting to our sovereignty.”

The letter states: “We are deeply concerned… by the unprecedented inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity language for the first time in a Free Trade Agreement.”

It adds: “A trade agreement is no place for the adoption of social policy.

“It is especially inappropriate and insulting to our sovereignty to needlessly submit to social policies which the United States Congress has so far explicitly refused to accept.”

However, Canadian leader Justin Trudeau, a strong advocate of LGBT+ rights, defended the wording of the current deal, which he said reflects “shared values.”

Justin Trudeau: Deal is ‘good agreement that represents Canadian values’

According to the Toronto Star, he told reporters at a summit on Sunday: “We got to a good agreement that I think represents Canadian values, Canadian approach, but also values that are broadly shared amongst citizens of our three countries.

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