Bipartisan Blumenauer CODEL to Mexico Concludes
Jul 22, 2019
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday evening, the Congressional Delegation led by Ways and Means Committee Trade Subcommittee Chairman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) concluded their trip to Mexico. The members spent time in three locations – Mexico City, San Luis Potosi, and Tijuana – meeting with Mexican Government officials and other stakeholders to inform their consideration of the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Democratic members of the delegation specifically assessed how to ensure the new agreement raises standards for workers and the environment, provides access to medicines, and can be enforced. They also examined Mexico’s commitment to implementing the reforms necessary for the country to comply with its labor and other obligations under the agreement.
While in Mexico City, the delegation met with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, as well as Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, Secretary of Economia Graciela Marquez, Secretary of Labor Luisa Alcalde, and Environment Secretary Victor Manuel Toledo.
The members spoke directly to Mexican workers in San Luis Potosi, hearing about workplace conditions and treatment, the challenges to democratically unionizing in Mexico, and the need for significant reforms and new protections for workers.
Yesterday, the delegation spent time in Tijuana, where they learned about the North American Development Bank’s efforts to improve environmental conditions and border infrastructure to address waste water problems. The group also met with representatives from the State Water Commission, inspected environmental conditions at sites along the Tijuana River, and toured a water treatment plant.
Later this week, the House Democrats’ trade working group convenes its fourth meeting with USTR Ambassador Robert Lighthizer. Members will focus their discussion on enforcement and the enforceability of provisions in the renegotiated NAFTA. Previously, the working group held meetings with Ambassador Lighthizer to detail their priorities for improving the new agreement’s provisions for workers, the environment, and access to medicines.