Mexican business critical of USMCA as farmers lobby for approval
Just as Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer appeared to have made progress in satisfying House Democrats on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade, the Mexican Business Coordinating Council has issued a statement that, while it welcomes “a solution to the longstanding problem of the establishment of panels within the State-State dispute settlement mechanism,” its members are very concerned that there are some demands, on labor matters, that are “extreme in nature and completely unacceptable.”
The demands “could severely affect the competitiveness of Mexico and its North American partners. These proposals would, based on isolated events, negatively impact the supply chains created in the region in the last 25 years. If implemented, the losers would be the peoples of Mexico, the United States and Canada, the regional economy and trilateral cooperation. It would seem that some U.S. actors are putting the agreement at risk. The sovereignty of Mexico is non-negotiable. The Mexican government will have our support in generating counter-proposals and maintaining a firm position in defense of our country´s competitiveness. We will continue to strongly support the efforts of the Mexican government, and work from our office in Washington, D.C., to raise awareness among U.S. stakeholders.”
Politico reported that Mexican Undersecretary for North America Jesus Seade is headed back to Washington today for more talks with U.S. officials.
On Tuesday, Farmers for Free Trade hosted a call with Michelle Erickson-Jones, a wheat farmer from Montana; Tom Vilsack, the Agriculture secretary in the Obama administration and current president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council; and former Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark. FFT also called on Congress to approve USMCA and released a letter from more than 2,200 farmers nationwide that was sent to House and Senate leaders, calling for swift passage of the agreement, noting the governments signed it nearly a year ago.
The International Dairy Foods Association said that a dozen executives from North America’s largest dairy companies are in Washington today “to advocate directly with members of Congress and Trump administration officials for passage” of USMCA.
“Passing USMCA should be a simple bipartisan effort considering the deal’s huge upside for the American economy,” said Michael Dykes, president and CEO of IDFA.