U.S. labor leader on USMCA: Mexico first must prove it’s eradicating ‘700,000 protectionist contracts’

Before a replacement deal for Nafta takes effect, Mexico needs to prove it will enforce labor reforms that it’s enacting, said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Tuesday, detailing a key objection to the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

He said Democratic lawmakers who control the House of Representatives are in alignment with his union on this matter. He described the Mexican legislature’s push this month to enact the labor reforms as just a first step.

“What we want to see is that they have — one, the infrastructure to be able to enforce the bill, and two, the resources to do it,” Trumka said at an Economic Club of Washington event. “Because we’re talking a low-wage system that’s been in effect for a long time, with over 700,000 protectionist contracts, illegitimately negotiated and put in place, designed specifically to keep wages down in Mexico.”

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