Neal, Blumenauer Statement on First Complaint Under USMCA Rapid Response Mechanism

May 10, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC— Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) released the following statement in response to the first complaint filed under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s (USMCA) Rapid Response Labor Mechanism:

“Today marks a decisive step toward fulfilling the promise of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and ensuring that workers’ rights are meaningfully upheld across North America. We led House Democrats’ efforts to secure significant improvements to the agreement and develop new and aggressive enforcement mechanisms to support workers. We vigorously support the use of these tools and the complaint filed today by the AFL-CIO, SEIU, SNITIS, and Public Citizen.

“We set a new bar for U.S. trade policy and garnered unprecedented support for the USMCA, in part, by bringing workers to the table to seek justice through this new mechanism. Workers are the backbone and engine of our globally dependent economies, yet their labor rights and freedom to associate have been undermined and exploited globally for far too long. Public reports have highlighted that Tridonex workers suffered mass firings, forced resignations, intimidation, and a worker leader even faced criminal charges from local authorities. These kinds of egregious practices weaken our economies and fly in the face of basic labor rights and human dignity.

“We expect and call on the Biden Administration to use all available resources to take aggressive enforcement action in this case. We also expect the Biden Administration to use the resources we provided under the USMCA Implementing Act to aggressively enforce the agreement and self-initiate other cases where workers’ rights have been violated. We expect that this complaint will be the first of many, and look forward to working with Ambassador Tai to deliver results for U.S. workers.”