LGBT protections in the new North American Free Trade Agreement have triggered GOP lawmakers in the House to urge President Donald Trump to rescind them, Politico reported.
“A trade agreement is no place for the adoption of social policy,” reads the GOP lawmaker letter. “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.”
The forty conservative House members sent the letter to Trump Friday, expressing displeasure with pro-LGBT clauses in the pending US-Mexico-Canada-Agreement, which require signatory countries to bolster their anti-discrimination policies for LGBT people.
The USMCA, which is an update of the existing NAFTA, would make adjustments to rules on cars, dairy, and other goods flowing between the US, Canada, and Mexico, Business Insider reported.
The LGBT clauses would require “policies that protect workers against employment discrimination on the basis of sex, including with regard to pregnancy, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, [and] gender identity.”
The House GOP Nov. 16 letter urges Trump to remove the “sexual orientation and gender identity” language from the crucial trade deal.
But any such changes would be difficult to make. The deal is set to be signed at the G20 summit on Nov. 30, and the Canadian Prime Minister is unlikely to accept any side deals allowing the U.S. to ease up the protections.
According to Politico, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration wanted an entire chapter on gender equality, but “succeeded at getting gender discrimination, [defined] more broadly, included in the deal," a Canadian official said. "We viewed it as important to get gender identity included in the agreement, … It’s a win for us."
Trudeau stated on Nov. 18 that every country will go through its own ratification process, CTV News reported.
"Canada will, the United States will," he said. "But we're going to let the American officials and administration focus on their ratification process while we focus on ours."