In an unusual move the President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had a letter hand-delivered to the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee supporting the United States Mexico Canada trade agreement – USMCA.
Mexican Undersecretary Jesus Seade hand-delivered the letter during a meeting with Representative Richard Neal today about the replacement for NAFTA.
The letter, which can be read in full here, concludes…
“I hope this information helps you to make a decision that benefits our citizens, as soon as possible. I send my regards to you and Speaker of the House Nany Pelosi.”
Mexico ratified USMCA on June 19th. The trade agreement has moved its way through the Canadian process. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will ratify USMCA when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brings it up for a vote. Trudeau last summer made personal calls and visits to Speaker Pelosi to alleviate her fears about worker protections in the deal.
The letter from the Mexican President to Rep Richard Neal does the same. It goes into detail how the Mexican Government has started the Labor Force reforms required under USMCA. The letter outlines, among other points, how Mexico has raised its minimum wage for workers across the nation by 16 percent. It singles out the areas along Mexico’s northern border where Lopez Obrador says the government doubled minimum wage. He makes the case for enforcement in the trade deal.
The House Speaker said in her weekly news conference that she has three areas of concern about USMCA that all fall under the umbrella of enforcement. Pelosi says she wants more environmental protections, prescription drug protection, and worker rights protections.
A Democratic working group has been talking with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer over changes that would satisfy Democrats. Pelosi says they are on a path to yes, but not there yet.
President Trump in recent days has razzed Pelosi over USMCA.
The Mexican President sending his regards to the House Speaker implies in his letter he would like to see USMCA ratified in Congress “…as soon as possible.”