(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) joined Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and 84 colleagues in sending a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer making clear that Mexico must pass meaningful labor reforms before consideration of any renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“We write to share our concerns about Mexico’s labor practices and need for meaningful reforms in light of the prospect of a Congressional vote on the renegotiated NAFTA, also known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA),” the letter notes.

The members use the letter to highlight the failure of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to lift up American workers as was promised at its passage and call for eliminating the so-called “protection contract” system used in Mexico for more than 70 years that keeps wages low and denies rights and protections to working people.

“Without swift and certain enforcement mechanisms--which the deal currently lacks--the new labor and environmental protections in the deal will have no effect. We know this because we have 25 years of experience of trying to enforce promises made in trade deals that lacked swift and certain enforcement mechanisms,” the members conclude. “We hope that you will work with us and all people of good will across the United States, Canada and Mexico to ensure that all three parties live up to their obligations for workers,” the letter closes.

This letter follows one led by Rep. DeLauro in January 2018 which urged Ambassador Lighthizer to prioritize fixing Mexican labor practices and suppression of wages to solidify any agreement.  

A signed copy of the letter is available here.