Apr 28, 2019. President Trump’s push to revamp North America’s trade rules is hitting a roadblock in Washington as Democrats and labor groups demand changes, dimming its chances of passage before next year’s presidential election.
As Congress returns from recess this week with a full plate of priorities, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and other prominent Democrats have signaled they won’t allow a vote on the administration’s new agreement with Canada and Mexico without certain changes.
Democrats said they want to make it easier to enforce new rules designed to strengthen labor rights in Mexico, saying a lack of worker protections there is hurting wages and job prospects for U.S. workers. Trump administration officials said these concerns can be handled in follow-up legislation that would implement the U.S.-Mexico-Canada-Agreement, or USMCA.
The head of the largest U.S. labor union said he opposes ratification of the new North American free trade pact, because he doubts Mexico will enforce labor reforms required by the deal.
Richard Trumka, president of the 12.5-million-member AFL-CIO, said the U.S. Congress is unlikely to approve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement until Mexico makes greater progress.
“If they get the labor laws changed in accordance with the agreement, then they have to show us that they have the infrastructure and the resources to be able to do that,” Trumka said during a discussion hosted by the Economic Club of Washington.