Mexico seeks the approval of the USMCA to promote the labor reform

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Mexican government is still waiting for Canada and the United States to ratify the United States, Mexico and Canada’s Free Trade Agreement (USMCA). On October 14, Mexico’s President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, sent a letter to the U.S. congressmen explaining the steps Mexico will give to implement a new labor reform. His objective was to convince them to approve the USMCA before the year ends.

It is worth mentioning that Mexico changed its Federal Labor Law on May with the commitment to enhance the working conditions to avoid an unequal competition between the three countries involved in this trade pact. Last October, Lopez Obrador received a congressional delegation in Mexico City and then sent a delegation to Washington where he insisted that there were sufficient resources and a clear strategy to implement it.

The strategy involves 900 million dollars in the next 4 years to change the labor justice system and ensure that disputes between workers and employers are resolved quickly. The new project also includes the creation of the Federal Center for Labor Conciliation and Registration, a 23 million dollar building where working conflicts will be analyzed on a period no longer than 45 days before reaching court. Furthermore, the new Labor Law guarantees that elections of union leaders will be carried out through direct vote, something that until now has not happened in all trade union organizations.

Even though the Mexican Congress provides the resources to begin with the changes, the vote does not take place. Nonetheless, everything seems to indicate that it could take place at the end of November, probably before Thanksgiving Day.

Por parte de Canadá, el Primer Ministro canadiense, Justin Trudeau, analizó con legisladores demócratas estadounidenses la ratificación del T-MEC, así como las reformas laborales en México, pues buscan introducir modificaciones en el texto para aplicar mecanismos de protección laboral.

Moreover, Trudeau also had a meeting with the President of the Committee on Ways and Means of the United States House of Representatives, democrat Richard Neal, and other legislators from the commission. After the appointment, the U.S. delegation interviewed the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, and other members of Trudeau’s Cabinet, such as the Minister of Employment, Patty Hajdu.

In the case of the United States, one of the obstacles to the approval of the USMCA is the dismissal trial against Donald Trump. Once the congressmen have decided to go ahead with the process, all attention in Washington will be devoted to that issue, leaving aside other items on the legislative agenda.

Nevertheless, Mexico intends to begin their labor plan on 2020 in 10 states of the country, regardless whether the trade agreement is approved or not.


  • Presidency of the Mexican Republic
  • Office of the Prime Minister of Canada