Statements on First Complaint Under USMCA Rapid Response Mechanism

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN

“Trade deals only work when we enforce labor standards to protect workers. I’m glad to see the USMCA complaint today from the AFL-CIO, SEIU, SNITIS, and Public Citizen against Mexican auto parts factories that fired over 600 workers for organizing.” [Read Full Statement]


SEN. SHERROD BROWN

“When corporations are forced to pay workers a living wage and treat them with dignity, no matter where those workers are located, then we take away the incentive for them to move jobs abroad. I voted for the USMCA because of its labor enforcement provision, and I stand in solidarity with the workers in Mexico and their lawyer, Susana Prieto Terrazas, in their fight for the dignity of work.” [Read Full Statement]


SEN. RON WYDEN

“Today’s petition, on behalf of workers in Mexico is a critical test of the Brown-Wyden rapid response mechanism and the ability of the USMCA to deliver the labor reforms Mexico promised,” said Wyden. “This thorough and compelling petition details exactly the type of labor violations that have long been a concern in Mexico and a detriment to workers everywhere. I look forward to working with USTR to ensure the petition is thoroughly considered and the rights of workers on both sides of the border are vindicated.” [Read Full Statement]


REP. NEAL BLUMENAUER 

“Today marks a decisive step toward fulfilling the promise of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and ensuring that workers’ rights are meaningfully upheld across North America. We led House Democrats’ efforts to secure significant improvements to the agreement and develop new and aggressive enforcement mechanisms to support workers. We vigorously support the use of these tools and the complaint filed today by the AFL-CIO, SEIU, SNITIS, and Public Citizen.

“We set a new bar for U.S. trade policy and garnered unprecedented support for the USMCA, in part, by bringing workers to the table to seek justice through this new mechanism. Workers are the backbone and engine of our globally dependent economies, yet their labor rights and freedom to associate have been undermined and exploited globally for far too long. Public reports have highlighted that Tridonex workers suffered mass firings, forced resignations, intimidation, and a worker leader even faced criminal charges from local authorities. These kinds of egregious practices weaken our economies and fly in the face of basic labor rights and human dignity.” [Read Full Statement]


REP. ROSA DELAURO

“These violations are well-documented and have been occurring for years, and I am hopeful that today’s filing marks the first step in demonstrating how enforceable trade agreements are essential to ensuring U.S. trade policy supports workers’ rights and jobs.” [Read Full Statement]


REP. BILL PASCRELL

“The corruption and silencing of labor organizing in Mexico must end. “While Mexico changed its labor laws to eliminate government connected protection unions and their crooked connections with corporations, there are continued reports of intimidation, harassment, and retaliation against workers lawfully seeking independent union representation. Collusion between the Mexican government and corporations may be engaging in these flagrant violations of both the law and the renegotiated NAFTA agreement.” [Read Full Statement]


REP. DAN KILDEE

“We must enforce trade deals for agreements like the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to work properly. Failure to protect labor rights, either by governments or corporations, must be swiftly addressed. I supported replacing NAFTA in part because of strong labor enforcement provisions like the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee and Trade Subcommittee, I will continue to work tirelessly to make sure we enforce this agreement and ensure that Mexico lives up to its commitments.” [Read Full Statement]


REP. BRENDAN BOYLE

“The USMCA’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism that will be utilized in this complaint will provide new and aggressive enforcement mechanisms to support workers. Public reports detail mass firings, forced resignations and intimidation as only a few of the egregious practices Tridonex engaged in against its own employees. Businesses practices like these only serve to weaken our economy while diminishing basic labor rights and human dignity. I am proud of the work of House Democrats to improve upon the USMCA with this new mechanism in order to bring workers to the table as they seek the justice they duly deserve.”  [Read Full Statement]


REP. JIMMY PANETTA

“After an extensive investigation, it is alleged that a Mexican auto parts factory violated some of those labor standards.  Fortunately, we now have the USMCA enforcement tools to hold our partners accountable and ensure that they uphold the spirit of the one of the most progressive hemispheric trade agreements in our nation’s history.” [Read Full Statement]


RICHARD TRUMKA, AFL-CIO

“USMCA requires Mexico to end the reign of protection unions and their corrupt deals with employers,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “The ongoing harassment of Susana Prieto and SNITIS members is a textbook violation of the labor laws Mexico has pledged to uphold.” [Read Full Statement]


JIM HOFFA, TEAMSTERS

“This filing is a critical test of the rapid response mechanism in the USMCA,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “Part of the intent of the labor reforms included in this trade agreement was to raise the standards in Mexico and to empower workers seeking union representation on the job. How Mexico treats its workers impacts all workers in North America. Every worker in the U.S., Canada and Mexico deserves a safe workplace, free from intimidation and persecution.” [Read Full Statement]


ROBERT MARTINEZ Jr., IAM

“Workers throughout the world workers are entitled to the right to form a union. The company’s conduct not only violated these fundamental human rights, but Mexico, which agreed to honor these rights under USMCA, must act quickly to enforce its laws and provide adequate and effective remedies to the workers.” [Read Full Statement]