Hopes were high coming into November that the Trump Administration and House Democrats would strike a deal on the renegotiated NAFTA, or United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA), agreement, but it appears that more time is needed, at least that’s what AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and other labor leaders say. The main sticking points include questions surrounding Mexico’s commitment to labor reform and compliance enforcement issues.
“Many House Democrats will not support USMCA without the political support of leading labor unions like AFL-CIO,” said Alice Gomez, a lobbyist for the Society of American Florists and an expert on trade issues. “The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative staff and staff representing Members of Congress are using this week’s district work period to meet with the AFL-CIO and other labor groups in an attempt to reach a compromise on outstanding issues.”
“All three countries that are party to NAFTA have to sign off on the changes in the renegotiated deal,” explained Gomez. “Mexico acted earlier this year to ratify USMCA. Depending on the extent of the changes to the agreement negotiated between the Trump administration and House Democrats, it is likely that Mexico will need to re-ratify. As for Canada, the country was waiting to get past October elections before taking steps to ratify.”