MEXICO– Today, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sent a very assertive yet “respectful call to Nancy Pelosi to make a decision” to approve the free trade agreement USMCA. An agreement Pelosi has put on hold for months due to new requests by democrats outside the agreement already approved by México Canada and the Trump’s administration.
The hold up is due to a request by a small group of Democrats asking Mexico to improve Labor Reforms to increase the salaries of workers and provide them with Union Democracy; a requests already approved by Mexico when it passed a historic labor reform “better that what the U.S. currently has” said the Mexican President AMLO referring to the U.S. stagnant wages haven’t increased in in the last 35 years, according to a 2018 pew research. Yet, the democrats have interest groups pushing for control of Mexican unions which is a violation to Mexico’s sovereignty.
A specific request by democrats is to send U.S. government inspectors to Mexican companies to make sure that union laws are not violated in terms of selecting democratic elected union leaders.
Mexican Business Leaders and organizations consider this move, not only a violation to Mexico sovereignty, but as well a move to sabotage investment coming into Mexico because no business will be comfortable having a foreign government investigating their businesses.
The request was watered down to allowing tables of discussion on a case-by-case basis when the situation is needed, and with the condition that Mexico can do the same as well to U.S. businesses and unions. In case of union disputes, a group of investigators from the United States and Mexico governments, plus one neutral party will be in the table of discussion. This measure can be approved by AMLO, but it will be sent to Mexico’s Congress for analysis and approval.
Today, at his press conference, AMLO said that by the looks of it, the Mexican congress is going to approve the amendment. Therefore, AMLO sent a message to Pelosi to approve the USMCA which he says is a good deal that will benefit the three counties. AMLO said “it’s time” to approve the deal this year before the 2020 presidential campaigns enter in full swing potentially hindering the opportunity available now to keep it off political rhetoric.
The watered-down version of what the Democrats wanted is still considered by many as a violation of Mexico’s sovereignty and of international Commerce rules. Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, who is been pushing democrats to enforce Mexican labor laws, instead of U.S. labor laws, said in an email to The Washington Post on Monday morning that there is a deal, adding “we have pushed them hard and have done quite well.”
Mr. Trumka said he would meet with the labor union’s executive council Monday afternoon to discuss it. U.S. union leaders blamed the Nafta agreement for taking away jobs from Americans, instead of blaming neoliberal policies and corruption within congress. Mr. Lighthizer and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a senior adviser, are expected to be in Mexico on Tuesday morning, according to an administration official. It is unclear what prompted the trip, which will also include Mr. Lighthizer’s deputy, C.J. Mahoney.
There is a pharmaceutical clause that democrats want to include in the USMCA trade deal that will benefit the industry’s bio drugs, not so much Americans or Mexican citizens. USMCA guarantees the extremely expensive biologic makers (drugs) at least a ten-year monopoly on their new drugs across all three of North America’s major economies. The vast majority of biologics work is done by big pharma in the U.S. and generics won’t be allow in Mexico for 5 years, Canada 9 years, the U.S. 14 years.
The pact must be ratified by the legislatures in all three countries before it can take effect. An announcement is expected to be made this Monday night or Tuesday morning. Then the vote will take place around December 21st in the house, and the senate next year.