Mexico objects to labor monitors in USMCA bill
House approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade has been thrown into uncertainty because Mexico has objected to the U.S. implementing legislation that authorizes the Labor Department to hire five labor attachés to monitor Mexican enforcement of the labor provisions in the USMCA.
Mexican Undersecretary for North America Jesús Seade said at a Saturday news conference in Mexico City that Mexico would not agree to foreign labor inspections and that he is headed to Washington to meet today with Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
The decision to send labor attachés was “never mentioned to Mexico — never,” Seade told journalists on Saturday, The Washington Post reported. “And, of course, we don’t agree.”
On Sunday, he was even more blunt. “We gained a lot in the trilateral talks, and because of this, the U.S. needs ‘extras’ that are NOT PART OF THE TREATY in order to sell it to its domestic audience,” Seade tweeted.
The House is expected to vote on the USMCA Agreement on Thursday, a day after voting on whether to impeach President Donald Trump. The Senate is not expected to take it up until January and then only after the expected impeachment trial of Trump.
The controversy emerged just as Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, announced that he would support the agreement.
“We fought tooth and nail against the administration, and with the support of(House) Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi, (D-Calif.), Senator Wyden (the Senate Finance Committee ranking member, a Democrat from Oregon), and the union movement, we secured significant improvements for workers that President Trump’s initial agreement left out, namely stronger enforcement,” Brown said.