Submitted by Levi Strauss & Co.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - May 11, 2007 - Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&CO.) congratulates Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, Ranking Member Jim McCrery and U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab for reaching a positive agreement to ensure that strong labor standards are an integral part of free-trade agreements (FTAs). The compromise agreement announced yesterday requires that all FTAs negotiated by the United States include provisions committing parties to adhere to the 1998 International Labor Organization Declaration on the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
This requirement will help codify the importance of strong labor protections in trade agreements and further advance LS&CO.’s longstanding commitment to responsible supply-chain practices. In light of our history and deep commitment to labor rights, LS&CO. supports incorporating fundamental worker rights provisions with effective enforcement mechanisms in all trade agreements whether multilateral, regional or bilateral. Such efforts are critical to protecting worker rights in an environment of increasing globalization. LS&CO. has been advocating this trade-labor linkage with U.S. and foreign governments since 2000.
"Now that a successful bipartisan consensus on a new U.S. trade policy has been forged, LS&CO. urges the U.S. Administration to work with Congress and our trading partners to implement the negotiated FTAs with Colombia, Panama, Peru and South Korea as soon as possible," said Helga Ying, Director, Worldwide Government Affairs and Public Policy. "We believe that these agreements, combined with enhanced labor protections, will strengthen our economic relationship with these countries to the benefit of LS&CO., our suppliers, workers and the apparel sector overall."
For more than 150 years, a strong sense of corporate citizenship has guided LS&CO.’s business operations. In 1991, LS&CO. became the first multinational company to establish a comprehensive code of conduct, which helps us select business partners who follow workplace standards and business practices that are consistent with our company’s values and policies.
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