Join Brewster Grace for a talk the on Environment, Labor and U.S. trade with Asia, on Thursday, Nov. 4 at the Rockland Public Library. The event runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and is free and open to all.

Environmental and labor issues are ripe in U.S. trade relations with Asia. Curtailed worker rights and environmental abuse may be tolerated as inevitable by trading partners in order to maintain export competitiveness; but they increasingly violate international concerns for and commitments to social standards and environmental sustainability. Trade in clothing and textiles and some agricultural and manufactured products will be discussed as examples of where international environmental and labor rights standards and agreements are at odds with on-going trade liberalization in the Asia and Pacific region. Whether the U.S. is willing and able to use these as leverage or to resort to restrictive trade measures to create a more “level playing field” is a question of critical debate in shaping U.S. trade policies in Asia.

Brewster Grace retired to the Midcoast after serving as director of the Quaker United Nations Office in Geneva and as its representative for the World Trade Organization and the International Labor Organization. Prior to joining the Quaker UN Office, he served as Quaker representative in Southeast Asia and then in the Middle East and also worked as a correspondent for American Universities Field Staff in Southeast Asia and Geneva. He is a graduate of Colorado College with a B.A. in Political Science and Colombia University with M.A.s in Public Law and Government and East Asian Studies.

This presentation is offered as a free community event in anticipation of the 24th Annual Camden Conference: The Challenges of Asia, Feb. 18-20, 2011. For more information, please call 236-1034 or visit www.camdenconference.org.