A key provision in the USMCA deal has raised concerns in Mexico. Robert Lighthizer the U.S. Trade Representative has swept away all such doubts regarding this provision in the labor enforcement.
The Mexican government has brought up the issue of five labor inspectors from the U.S. who will monitor the implementation of the labor reforms in Mexico.
Seade said that Mexico objects to the U.S. labor inspectors visiting their country. Mexican law prohibits interference in their sovereignty, he said. The language used in the U.S. bill in implementing the trade agreement will not be accepted, he added.
Under the USMCA agreement that will be replacing the original NAFTA, the U.S. has the right to deploy five attaches from the Labor Department who will be authorized to work with the Mexican counterparts so that all labor obligations are being met under the USMCA guidelines in Mexico.
After the emergency meeting, by which a letter was sent by Lighthizer to Mexico, Jesus Seade, the Undersecretary for North America retracted his doubts. All concerns have been clarified, said Seade after the two-hour meeting with Lighthizer.
The deal is expected to be passed this week in the House, as it will come for a vote on Thursday.
Lighthizer has clarified that the officials will be sent to Mexico only to provide technical assistance and work with the Mexican counterparts to implement the deal and not for other purposes.
However, the confusion has caused much anxiety among the business leaders and officers in Mexico. The language of the deal has not been closely reviewed by the lawyers and the technical team, they claim.
The trade agreement has to be passed by Canada and Mexico as well.
The USMCA trade deal will determine the manner in which labor disputes are handled in North America. This is the sticking point that will improve worker rights in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.