Labor group says ITC report supports need to bolster USMCA enforcement

  • April 19, 2019

Labor group says ITC report supports need to bolster USMCA enforcement

POLITICO PRO is reporting that the AFL-CIO, the largest labor group in the United States is seizing on a new study analyzing the economic impact of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to support its argument that the trade deal needs to include stronger enforcement measures.

In a statement today, Celeste Drake, a trade policy specialist with the AFL-CIO, pointed to language in the U.S. International Trade Commission study saying “that the new NAFTA would only strengthen labor standards and rights ‘if enforced.'”

Because of that, she continued, the “study supports the AFL-CIO’s demand that the deal is fixed, including by adding swift and certain enforcement tools, before Congress votes on it.”

The AFL-CIO holds significant sway with Democrats on Capitol Hill, whose votes, particularly in the House, will prove crucial to whether the pact is ratified. The AFL-CIO had previously come out strongly against the NAFTA replacement in its current form and has called for changes to the deal’s labor, enforcement, and intellectual property provisions, among other aspects.

Some congressional Democrats, who were already demanding changes to the USMCA, have put forward similar arguments in saying the new report does little to alleviate the concerns they have in those areas and others.

House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.), for one, said he “remains concerned that these portions of the renegotiated deal are not yet acceptable.”