Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and member of the Ways and Means' Subcommittee on Trade, issued the following statement after labor and human rights organizations filed the first Rapid Response Labor Mechanism under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement for potential labor violations in Mexico:
"We must enforce trade deals for agreements like the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to work properly. Failure to protect labor rights, either by governments or corporations, must be swiftly addressed. I supported replacing NAFTA in part because of strong labor enforcement provisions like the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee and Trade Subcommittee, I will continue to work tirelessly to make sure we enforce this agreement and ensure that Mexico lives up to its commitments.
"I know that American workers can compete with anyone, as long as they have a level playing field. Enforcing trade agreements is a major step to ensuring American workers have a level playing field."
The Rapid Response Labor Mechanism under the USMCA allows a dispute settlement panel to conduct an expedited review of an alleged denial of rights of free association and collective bargaining at specific facilities under the agreement. The panel can review petitions, and the parties can impose remedies, including suspension of preferential treatment for goods produced at the target facility or other related penalties.