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The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement includes protection given to employees against discrimination due to a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy, just to name a few of the protections it provides. However, it was recently announced that it will not provide protection to non-federal workers. 

The countries were to sign the trade agreement on November 30. Forty U.S lawmakers’ open letter to President Trump urged him to not sign because “A trade agreement is no place for the adoption of social policy.” They claimed it is “inappropriate and insulting to our sovereignty to needlessly submit to social policies.”

Many argue the Civil Rights Act of 1964 offers protection for people within the category of sexual identification, but the disagreement is whether this pertains to queer people or not. Despite the Civil Rights Act, there are a number of U.S states that allow for employees to be fired because of their sexuality.

There are holes in the system permitting counties and cities to create laws that surpass federal enforcement. For years now, folks have attempted to specify the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include “sexual orientation” in the official documentation. Three petitions are currently being viewed by the Supreme Court on this issue.

Activists wanted to see similar protections included in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. However, it doesn’t look like they will be successful. A footnote was added to the trade agreement which allows the U.S to provide no protection to non-federal workers in the U.S.