Thursday, 04 April 2019

Pelosi Says Mexico Must Reform Labor Laws Before Dems Vote on USMCA

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On Tuesday, April 2 during an interview with Politico Playbook, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated that there would not be a vote in Congress for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) until after the Mexican Congress passes its own domestic labor reform legislation.

“Unless you do this, we can’t even consider it.... We have to see that [Mexico passes] the legislation, that they have the factors in place that will make sure it’s implemented and they demonstrate some commitments in sincerity, because it’s a big issue how workers are treated in Mexico,” Pelosi said.

Despite President Trump’s desire for Congress to pass USMCA implementation legislation by summer, Pelosi reiterated her concern over a perceived lack of enforcement with regard to labor and environmental protections. Pelosi does not oppose the USMCA itself, rather the possibility that its more progressive measures will not be enforced. In other words, Pelosi favors the USMCA and does not want it to fail.

“We’re saying that enforcement has to be in the treaty, not in the implementing legislation,” Pelosi said. This is why she is adamant that Mexico pass its own labor reform first, before the U.S. Congress schedules a vote on an implementation bill. Pelosi and congressional Democrats want to ensure that the other parties, especially Mexico, live up to their end of the deal. “It is an important issue how workers in Mexico are treated,” Pelosi added.

Strengthening worker's rights in Mexico was also a key objective for U.S. and Canadian negotiators.

Mexico’s labor reform is intended to harmonize Mexico’s labor regulations with those of the United States and Canada in order to hopefully prevent the outsourcing of both U.S. and Canadian jobs to Mexico, where manufacturers have been known to circumvent labor regulations. The Mexican labor-reform package is also expected to make it easier for workers in Mexico to unionize, and in turn earn higher wages. The idea is that if Mexican wages are high enough, and thus closer to wages in the United States, it would not be lucrative for companies to close their operations here and move to Mexico. This would protect American jobs, especially manufacturing jobs.

“We know that when you don’t have strong enforcement provisions, you are essentially facilitating the outsourcing of jobs and bad worker protections and undercutting of U.S. workers,” Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said last month following a closed-door meeting between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and House Democrats.

Likewise, on April 1, Richard Trumpka, the president of the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of unions in the United States, tweeted: “We believe the changes to Mexican labor law must be enacted and implemented. Mexico must show us they have the enforcement mechanism otherwise the changes are useless.”

Unfortunately, neither Pelosi’s, Jayapal’s, or Trumpka’s concern for U.S. union workers extends to also protecting America’s national sovereignty from the ramifications of a merger of the three countries — what the Council on Foreign Relations and other globalist scholars and academics glowingly refer to as “North American integration.”

A merger of the United States, Mexico, and Canada into a type of EU-lite or “North American Community,” as the late CFR’s Robert Pastor frequently promoted, may inevitably place the United States in a similar predicament to Britain in its ongoing attempts to “Brexit” from the European Union. The current European Union initially began as a post-WWII “free trade” agreement between several Western European countries known as the European Coal and Steel Community. It has since evolved from a “community” of nations to a political and monetary union with its own common market, banking system, currency, customs, immigration policy, passport, anthem, parliament, governing administrative commission, president, courts, and proposals for a European military — virtually all the attributes of a single state or country.

These changes did not happen overnight, or through the implementation of one treaty alone, but gradually over the course of various treaties, each building on the achievement of the preceding agreement. Similarly, the USMCA builds on the already existing NAFTA framework to expand into new areas not originally covered under the original 1994 agreement such as labor, the environment, digital commerce, regulatory policy, and competitiveness, among others.

Mexican labor reform was a key policy issue of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s governing party — the National Regeneration Movement, or MORENA — in Mexico’s 2018 congressional and presidential elections.

MORENA is a radical left-wing nationalist and populist coalition of Mexican political parties, which includes the vehemently anti-capitalist and outright socialist Labor Party of Mexico that was founded by Maoist activists in 1990. MORENA is also an international affiliate of the São Paulo Forum, a network of Latin American Marxist parties including Nicaragua’s Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) and the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) that enjoys the backing of the Communist Party of Cuba. That being said, strong labor reform in favor of unionization and higher wages for workers is a top legislative priority for AMLO and MORENA in the Mexican Congress.

“With the agreement or without the agreement, this is something central to President López Obrador — strengthening workers’ rights and strengthening trade deals in Mexico,” said Mexico’s Undersecretary for Foreign Trade Luz María de la Mora.

The AMLO government wants a labor-reform package passed in Mexico’s Congress before it adjourns on April 30, “so we can reflect the commitments that we’ve made under the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement in domestic legislation,” de la Mora said.

She expects that those changes to her country’s labor laws will be ready in this month. “Mexico must also pass its labor reform, so I think we will be ready in April,” de la Mora told the Mexican newspaper El Universal. She further indicated that once Mexico passes the labor-reform law, the Mexican Senate would move to ratify the USMCA treaty in the second half of 2019, after the U.S. Congress passes its USMCA implementation legislation in either May or June 2019.

De La Mora explained to El Universal that the legislatures of all three countries would have to approve the USMCA by the end of the year in order for it to go into effect in 2020. Otherwise, the process will delayed and it will run into the 2020 U.S. presidential election season.

The AMLO administration has also announced that it plans to approve the necessary labor-reform legislation by the end of April in order for both the U.S. and Mexican Congresses to approve the USMCA. Mexico’s Ministry of Economy expects that once the Mexican Congress passes the necessary labor reform, and after the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) releases its report assessing the expected economic impact of the USMCA, then the U.S. Congress will likely schedule a vote for USMCA implementation legislation in either May or June, coinciding with President Trump’s desire for the USMCA to be approved by early summer of this year.

If all goes according to their plans, then the USMCA will quickly come up for a vote, which underscores the urgency for patriots and activists jealous of American sovereignty to act even more quickly if they are to successfully educate their elected officials before time runs out.

As this publication has previously explained in various articles, the successful passage of the USMCA is not a win for America, but for “North America” and globalist aspirations toward integrating the continent into a European Union-like “North American Community.” The USMCA has less to do with facilitating actual commerce with Mexico and Canada, which had already been taking place long before the passage and implementation of either NAFTA or the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement. Instead, the USMCA is all about regionalism and integration.

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This fact is underscored by the remarks delivered by former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in his last day in office at the signing ceremony for the USMCA in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on November 30, 2018. Speaking in Spanish, Peña Nieto proclaimed, “The renegotiation of the new trade agreement sought to safeguard the vision of an integrated North America, the conviction that together we are stronger and more competitive.” He added, “The Mexican-United States-and-Canada Treaty gives a renewed face toward our integration.”

The Mexican-United States-and-Canada Treaty or T-MEC, by its Spanish acronym, is the official name for the USMCA used by the Mexican government. Shortly after signing the agreement, Peña Nieto tweeted:

On my last day as President, I am very honored to have participated in the signing of the new Trade Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada. This day concludes a long process of dialogue and negotiation that will consolidate the economic integration of North America.

Mexico’s plans to pass labor reform, as Pelosi has stated, are an indication that time is ticking before the agreement is brought to a vote in Congress via a USMCA implementation bill.

For more about the USMCA, what’s in it, and how it will affect America’s national sovereignty, The John Birch Society has produced a 33-minute educational video entitled, “USMCA: What They Are Not Telling You.”

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Photo: AP Images

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