After months of negotiations it looks like the USMCA trade agreement could be almost finished. Governments on both sides, including an initially reluctant democrat controlled house, have come together with only one final issue. Labor concerns over the treatment of workers in Mexico have pushed lawmakers to include the option to have US inspectors on site in Mexican manufacturers to ensure all labor stipulations are in compliance. Sufficed to say the Mexican government is unenthusiastic about the idea.
“Mexico will NEVER accept any measure that would see inspectors disguised for a simple reason: Mexican law prohibits it,” Mexico’s deputy foreign minister for North America, Jesus Seade tweeted. Authorities would rather use the laws of each nation to ensure compliance without international policing of implementation.
Passing the USMCA will modernize the 25 year old original North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which was implemented on January 1, 1994; four years before the birth of Google; twelve years before the first tweet on Twitter; the same year Friends debuted on NBC and a small online bookseller named Amazon started. Pop culture trivia aside, the explosion of e-commerce, internet-based communications and manufacturing automation that’s exploded in the years since demands a revision.
This important legislation has been brought together by government, labor leaders, business liaisons and both sides of the political spectrum to move the process along and ensure passage in both the House of Representatives and Senate. More than twelve million American jobs depend on the trillion dollar trade lanes in North America. Once the solution is developed, all parties expect to see the partnerships grow even larger.