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Women and Trade Amendment Offered to Fast-Track Bill

After weeks of debate, the Senate on May 23 passed, 66-30, legislation (H.R. 3009) that would allow the President to negotiate trade agreements without congressional approval.

During debate this week, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) offered and withdrew an amendment pertaining to women and trade. The amendment would have established a Trade, Gender, and Development Policy Advisory Committee within the Office of the United States Trade Representative. The advisory committee would have provided policy advice on issues related to gender, development, and trade and would advise the U.S. Trade Representative on trade agreements.

“Women’s organizations and labor groups have made a convincing case that increased trade and trade rules have different implications for women,” argued Sen. Boxer. “The GAO found that, nationally, 66 percent of the workers qualifying for NAFTA trade adjustment assistance were women. That kind of job loss concentration has implications for how we design job training and assistance programs and can help us predict which communities will suffer job losses as a result of trade,” she said.

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