Democrats to meet with Lighthizer on USMCA after Mexico trip
The House Democrats’ trade working group on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement will convene its fourth meeting on USMCA with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer later this week, the House Ways and Means Committee’s Democratic leadership announced today.
The meeting will focus on enforcement and the enforceability of provisions in the renegotiated NAFTA, Ways and Means announced in a news release.
Previously, the working group held meetings with Lighthizer to detail their priorities for improving the new agreement’s provisions for workers, the environment and access to medicines.
Ways and Means also said that the congressional delegation to Mexico led by Trade Subcommittee Chairman Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., had concluded their trip. The members spent time in three locations — Mexico City, San Luis Potosi, and Tijuana — meeting with Mexican government officials and other stakeholders “to inform their consideration of the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement,” Ways and Means said.
“The Democratic members of the delegation specifically assessed how to ensure the new agreement raises standards for workers and the environment, provides access to medicines, and can be enforced,“ the committee said.
“They also examined Mexico’s commitment to implementing the reforms necessary for the country to comply with its labor and other obligations under the agreement.
“While in Mexico City, the delegation met with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, Secretary of Economia Graciela Marquez, Secretary of Labor Luisa Alcalde, and Environment Secretary Victor Manuel Toledo and met with workers in San Luis Potosi, hearing about workplace conditions and treatment, the challenges to democratically unionizing in Mexico, and the need for significant reforms and new protections for workers.
“Yesterday, the delegation spent time in Tijuana, where they learned about the North American Development Bank’s efforts to improve environmental conditions and border infrastructure to address waste water problems. The group also met with representatives from the state water commission, inspected environmental conditions at sites along the Tijuana River, and toured a water treatment plant.”