Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was questioned on Sunday about a group of 40 GOP bigots who are pushing to have a provision that ensures LGBTQ workers are protected from discrimination removed from a new North American trade pact between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.
The letter, signed by a veritable ‘who’s who’ of anti-LGBTQ Republicans, urges Trump to reject the agreement unless the protections for LGBTQ people are removed, saying that “a trade agreement is no place for the adoption of social policy” and said the U.S. “has the right to decide when, whether and how to tackle issues of civil rights, protected classes and workplace rights.”
Adds the 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 letter argues that keeping the provision would not allow the administration to rescind Obama-era protections for LGBTQ workers that Republicans have been working diligently to trash.
Trudeau told reporters that “he is not going to negotiate in public when asked how far he would go to keep the provision in the agreement” according to the Toronto Star.
He added: “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. In any trade deal, there are going to be people who would like this or like that or not want this or not want that.”
Politico reports: ‘The LGBT provisions were a Canadian priority — part of the so-called progressive trade agenda championed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and described as a “big win” by his government. And the Trudeau government already is less than enthusiastic about entering the agreement while steel tariffs remain in place. Canada’s ambassador to Washington joked in a recent interview with POLITICO that the country might sign the pact with a “bag over its head.” It’s unclear whether the LGBT clauses even have real teeth. Both Canada and the U.S. agree it wouldn’t require a new law. But it’s unprecedented language in a U.S. trade agreement.’