Mexico Says It Did Not Agree to Allow US Labor Inspectors Into Country

Jesus Seade, Mexican Undersecretary to North America, departs after a meeting at the U.S. Trade Representative's office for…
Jesus Seade, Mexican Undersecretary to North America, departs after a meeting at the U.S. Trade Representative’s office for talks on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement on trade, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, in Washington.

A Mexican foreign ministry undersecretary says he did not negotiate a trade deal that would allow up to five U.S. labor inspectors into Mexico.

Jesus Seade posted in several tweets that there is a simple reason labor inspectors would not be allowed into Mexico.  Mexican law prohibits it, Seade said.

Last Tuesday, Mexico, the U.S., and Canada signed a revised United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. Mexico’s Senate ratified the new deal two days later.

When legislation to implement the trade deal was introduced in the U.S. Congress, it contained language proposing the posting of up to five labor attaches to monitor Mexican labor reforms.

Seade quickly objected with “surprise and concern” and announced a trip to Washington.

His Mexican critics said that he and others in President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s administration had overlooked something in the new deal and had approved the pact too hastily.

But Seade said there was nothing in the ratified trade package that authorized the posting of U.S. labor inspectors in Mexico.  “It is a very good agreement for Mexico,” Seade said.  “That’s why the U.S. needs ‘extras’ to sell it internally that were not part of the package.”

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