What Happened: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said the House of Representatives would not consider approving the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) until Mexico adopts and implements a labor reform that the three countries agreed upon during USMCA negotiations, Politico reported April 2. Pelosi is also pushing for the inclusion of environmental protections and enforcement of agreements on pharmaceuticals in the deal.
Why It Matters: Pelosi's announcement highlights the House of Representative's prioritization of Mexican labor reform as a prerequisite to approving the USMCA as a whole. Her requirements regarding labor rights enforcement, environmental protection and pharmaceuticals would require reopening talks and almost certainly delay the agreement's implementation.
Background: The United States, Canada and Mexico agreed during USMCA negotiations that Mexican labor reform would be a necessary part of implementing any new trilateral trade agreement. The labor reform is intended to level the playing field between the three countries by making it harder for Mexican manufacturers to circumvent labor regulations, such as workers' rights to freely form labor unions. U.S. groups such as the AFL-CIO have said the current Mexican labor reform proposals do not meet the standards all parties agreed upon.
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