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The Trump Administration Wants to Roll Back Transgender Rights. The New Nafta Agreement May Strengthen Them

The draft trade deal between Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. includes a provision requiring each country to protect workers from sex discrimination. Its definition of sex includes both sexual orientation and gender identity.

“We viewed it as important to get gender identity included in the agreement… It’s a win for us,” an unnamed Canadian official told Politico.

The provision, Article 23.9, is as follows:

“…each Party shall implement policies that protect workers against employment discrimination on the basis of sex, including with regard to pregnancy, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, gender identity, and caregiving responsibilities, provide job-protected leave for birth or adoption of a child and care of family members, and protect against wage discrimination.”

It should not require any new laws the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative told Politico.

The U.S. government is debating how to define of sex and gender as it determines how to apply the Civil Rights Act, and the Trump administration may roll back Obama-era protections for transgender people. One definition of gender is the sex organs a person is born with. Another is the gender identity someone feels. Trans people, for example, may feel and act like one gender while retaining organs from another.

If the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is ratified in its present form, the U.S. might have to consider gender identity and not biological sex in discrimination cases.