A delegation of Uzbekistan holds talks at the State Department and the Office of Trade Representative

Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- During the working visit, a delegation of Uzbekistan led by Deputy Prime Minister Tanzila Narbaeva held talks in the State Department, the Office of the Trade Representative, the Department of Labor and the US Council for International Business (USCIB) in Washington DC on 7 February 2019.

At a meeting with Deputy Assistant US Trade Representative for application of the General System of Preferences (GSP) Erland Herfindal and for South and Central Asia, Zeba Reyazuddin, the sides discussed measures taken in Uzbekistan to prevent and suppress forced labor.

Erland Herfindal informed on the current consideration of the issue of applying the SHG duty-free trade regime to Uzbekistan, which, according to him, is caused by the issue of forced labor. In this context, he stressed the timeliness of the visit of the Uzbek delegation and expressed appreciation for the information provided, which, in his opinion, would be useful in developing appropriate recommendations for the administration of the President of the United States.

Zeba Reyazuddin said that she had the opportunity to repeatedly visit Uzbekistan and be convinced of the significant transformations achieved in the last two years.

The US side stated “universal recognition of the progress of Uzbekistan on the issue of eliminating forced labor” and welcomed the open and constructive negotiations of the Uzbek delegation with the “Cotton Campaign”, which should have a positive effect in the perception of openness of Uzbekistan among the US human rights community

During her meeting with the Uzbek delegation, US Deputy Secretary of Labor Martha Newton noted tangible progress in eliminating forced labor in Uzbekistan over the past two years.

During the meeting, issues of cooperation between the US Department of Labor and the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations of Uzbekistan were also discussed. In particular, aspects of interaction in implementation of international labor standards, joint research of the labor market and the demographic situation of Uzbekistan, management of large databases, as well as prospects for technical and consulting assistance were considered.

The prospects for attracting an American expert as a permanent adviser to the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations were discussed separately.

These areas of cooperation are particularly relevant in the context of developing a new Labor Code of Uzbekistan and plans for conducting a census in 2022.

The delegation also held talks with the Ambassador-at-Large in the field of monitoring and combating human trafficking, John Richmond, who visited Uzbekistan last December.

A representative of the US Department of State welcomed the openness of the Government of Uzbekistan to the discussion of “sensitive issues” and highly appreciated the measures taken in the republic to prevent the use of child and forced labor. The Ambassador emphasized the importance of the legal and institutional mechanisms for combating human trafficking created in the country.

Issues related to the protection of workers’ rights, as well as prospects for building partnership between the business circles of the two countries, were discussed during a meeting with representatives of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which brings together more than 300 US transnational corporations, large law firms and business associations.

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