Yesterday, House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (MA-01) defended the Biden-Harris Administration’s worker-centered trade agenda and commitment to enforcing the high-standard labor chapter of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in the editorial section of the Wall Street Journal.
Ranking Member Neal praised United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai’s long-standing and steadfast support of labor, “She never wavered in putting American workers first. Her tenacity and moral conviction made the first of its kind, rapid-response labor mechanism possible.”
To date, USTR has sought Mexico’s review of facility-specific labor rights violations fourteen times under the USMCA.
Read Ranking Member Neal’s full letter to the editor below:
[Representative Richard Neal, 10/3/2023]
Standing up for workers isn’t political or a punishment—as characterized in Mary Anastasia O’Grady’s “Biden Does Big Labor’s Bidding in Mexico” (Americas, Sept. 25)—it’s what’s right, and we won’t apologize for it. Workers are the backbone of the global economy, and for too long there has been a race to the bottom, casting their dignity aside for reduced costs and exorbitant profits. House Democrats changed that through the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, finally giving us recourse to remedy abuses and violations through our trade agreements.
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai was a key Democratic negotiator of the USMCA. She never wavered in putting American workers first. Her tenacity and moral conviction made the first of its kind, rapid-response labor mechanism possible. When we hold our trading partners accountable, we enhance our own workers’ competitiveness. The USMCA was a tremendous bipartisan accomplishment that showed the world what our nation values and what’s possible in U.S. trade agreements. Already this commitment has ushered in significant wins for workers, including increased wages and finally recognizing their hard fights for collective bargaining.
We are a nation of workers, built by workers. The opportunity to protect our greatest asset with safe workplaces and wages that allow them to live and raise their families with dignity is building the race to the top. It should be celebrated by all.