S&Ds put workers‘ rights first in EU-US free trade agreement negotiations

On a visit to Washington DC, Hannes Swoboda, president of the S&D Group, has held talks with high-level representatives of the US Congress, different branches of the US government and representatives of civil society.

After extensive discussions with deputy US trade representative Miriam Sapiro and Richard Trumka, chair of the AFL-CIO, the US‘ largest trade union federation, Hannes Swoboda anticipated speedy but careful negotiations on an EU-US free trade agreement. Any outcome agreed must be beneficial to both sides and ensure the interests of European citizens are safeguarded.

Speaking in Washington DC, S&D Group president Hannes Swoboda said:

„With this free trade agreement, Europe and the US could set global security standards and give an example to other world trade partners like China. One area of close co-operation should be an unambiguous commitment to high environmental and phyto-sanitary standards.

„We will insist on the highest possible labour standards and workers‘ rights. The S&D Group will work closely with the trade unions in Europe and the USA to ensure workers‘ rights are guaranteed.

„Furthermore, it is crucial that the negotiations for a free trade agreement are accompanied by clear communication with the public, based on transparent negotiations and a mutually beneficial outcome.“

Libor Rouček, S&D vice-president responsible for transatlantic relations, added:

„A carefully and successfully negotiated free trade agreement can create positive conditions for boosting economic growth and creating more jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.“