WASHINGTON, DC – This afternoon, the Congressional Delegation led by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal concluded its trip to Mexico. The members of the delegation had productive meetings in Mexico City on improving the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
The delegation met with President Andres Manuel López Obrador to learn more about his vision and commitment to the historic labor justice reform legislation passed earlier this year and the terms of the North American economic partnership. Chairman Neal and his colleagues reiterated their commitment to ensuring the new NAFTA meets the high standards for workers, the environment, access to affordable medicines, and enforceability that Americans, Mexicans, and Canadians deserve.
A primary focus of the members’ time in Mexico was to assess the nation’s ability to follow through on promised reforms and implement the legal, institutional, and cultural changes in accordance with Mexico’s laws and the renegotiated agreement’s requirements. The delegation also met with Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard as well as Secretary of Labor Luisa María Alcalde and Finance Secretary Arturo Herrera to examine the López Obrador Administration’s proposed budget and the funding allocated to implement the country’s labor reform law.
Members also took time to speak directly with Mexican workers and Mexican labor leaders about their experiences in the workplace and the labor protections and reforms they believe are most critical.
“Our meeting with President López Obrador shed further light on the Mexican government’s desire and intentions to carry out its labor justice reform, but the United States needs to see those assurances put into action,” said Chairman Neal. “I appreciate today’s positive engagement and am eager to see Mexico demonstrate its commitment to implementing the changes necessary to realize its own vision for reform and meet the demanding labor and enforcement standards that will be required by the renegotiated NAFTA.”
The House Democratic Working Group on NAFTA 2.0 continues to work closely and productively with USTR Ambassador Robert Lighthizer and his staff. Democrats remain committed to advancing these discussions – regardless of other congressional endeavors – and intend to get the renegotiated agreement right for U.S. workers, patients, and the environment.
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