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North American Trade Deal Back On Track As US And Mexico Settle Labor Feud

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North American Trade Deal Back On Track As US And Mexico Settle Labor Feud

A U.S. bill to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is back on track after Mexico said it's satisfied with the response of the U.S. government on its concerns related to labor provisions in the bill.

What Happened

Jesus Seade, Mexico's Foreign Affairs Undersecretary to the U.S., met with Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Monday to address Mexico's concerns on the language used in the revised USMCA signed by the three North American countries signed last week, the Washington Post reported.

The ratification bill introduced in the House of Representatives calls for the U.S. to name up to five labor department officials as attaches in the U.S. embassy in Mexico or other consulates, which Mexico saw as a unilateral attempt by the U.S. to send labor inspectors to the country, according to the Post.

Seade rolled back on the concerns on Monday and said that he was "very satisfied" with Lighthizer's response.

Lighthizer assured Seade that the attaches wouldn't act as labor inspectors and comply with all Mexican laws, the Post reported.

The trade representative also pointed out the existing presence of U.S. attaches from other departments, including Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, and Treasury, at the embassy in Mexico City.

What's Next

The House Democrats who were already in negotiations with Lighthizer over the bill in recent months are not planning to call for any further changes in the bill, a senior Democrat official told the Post.

The bill will go for a full House vote on Thursday, and is expected to be passed by the Senate early next year, the Post said.

 

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