This week, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met with the House Democratic Caucus in an effort to gain the necessary votes to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
After the meeting, it was reported that caucus members expressed a desire for Mexico to change its labor laws in advance of the implementation of the agreement. Among the desired changes are the right to collective bargaining and secret-ballot voting for unionization. This demand could delay rapid approval of the new trade agreement in the House.
Separately, Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is seeking an immediate resolution to the steel and aluminum tariffs that have caused Mexico to retaliate against U.S. agricultural products including frozen fries. Chairman Grassley believes this should occur before any vote on USMCA. NPC has asked for similar immediate action as over $80 million annually in U.S. potato exports to Mexico are currently threatened.