The EU and the US held their second tripartite Trade and Labour Dialogue (TALD) meeting earlier this week (31 May), stressing the urgent need to combat forced labour and ensure a successful green transition for workers and businesses.

Notably, this occasion marked the first instance where business and labour organisations from both the EU and the US jointly presented policy recommendations based on inputs from TALD stakeholders. This collaborative effort highlights the value of the TALD process, and both parties intend to explore ways to implement these recommendations effectively.

The event took place as part of the broader Trade and Technology Council (TTC), emphasising the significance of addressing labour-related concerns within the context of international trade. Building upon previous discussions held during the TTC meeting in December, the EU and US sought to reinforce their commitment to eliminate forced labour from supply chains operating across their regions.

Leading the meeting were Valdis Dombrovskis, executive vice-president of the European Commission, and ambassador Katherine Tai, the US trade representative.

In addition to forced labour, the TALD participants also turned their attention to ensuring a smooth green transition that benefits workers and businesses alike. With the EU and US embarking on their Transatlantic Initiative on Sustainable Trade (TIST) work programme, designed to address global environmental and climate challenges, the European Commission highlights the timing of the TALD’s focus on this issue is especially relevant.

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By GlobalData

Stakeholders from labour and business sectors were encouraged to further engage in discussions on the topic leading up to the upcoming ministerial TALD meeting.

The TALD was established during the second TTC meeting in May 2022, as a means to facilitate consultations with social partner stakeholders from both the EU and US. The initiative aims to address labour-related issues within the transatlantic trade context. Since its inception, the TALD has steadily progressed, with the inaugural technical meeting in September 2022 and the first ministerial-level meeting in December of the same year.

A French human rights organisation filed a new complaint against fashion brands allegedly sourcing cotton from Uyghur forced labour last month with Dr Sheng Lu telling Just Style at the time government-to-government solutions remain critical to addressing forced labour concerns worldwide..