Mexico vows labor rights, higher wages to urge U.S. Democrats to back trade deal By Reuters

© Reuters. Mexico

© Reuters. Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador attends a news conference at the National Palace in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Seeking to speed up U.S. ratification of a North American trade deal, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday vowed to implement union freedoms, higher wages and other labor rights ahead of a meeting with a delegation of U.S. lawmakers.

U.S. House of Representatives’ Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that in order to approve the pact, Democratic lawmakers need to have confidence in a labor reform passed this year by Lopez Obrador’s left-leaning government.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal led the delegation that was due to meet with Lopez Obrador, other officials and workers on Tuesday to hear more about Mexico’s labor situation.

“They want to know if the labor law will be implemented… of course we will comply with enforcing this law,” Lopez Obrador told his regular news conference.

“The reform is so that … workers can freely choose their representatives, and so there is union democracy and better wages for workers,” he said.

The USMCA trade deal, which would replace the trillion-dollar North American Free Trade Agreement, risks getting bogged down in the 2020 U.S. presidential election race if U.S. lawmakers do not ratify it soon.

Mexico’s Congress has already approved the deal. It also needs ratification from Canadian lawmakers.

Lopez Obrador said he would send Pelosi a letter on Tuesday asking for her support, and called for ratification as soon as possible.

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