Labor unions voicing skepticism about the updated North American trade agreement are becoming a final obstacle to the deal that House Democrats and the White House are seeking to iron out.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and other labor leaders want to make sure that Mexico enforces new labor standards under the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement (USMCA), and that there is a strong system of recourse if Mexico does not.
Without such enforcement, Democrats and labor unions aligned with them worry Mexico will have an unfair advantage to compete with American companies.
Trumka met with freshman Democrats on Capitol Hill on Tuesday at the invitation of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and lawmakers working on the agreement insisted unions and their party leadership is on the same page.
“My takeaway from that meeting is, there is no daylight between Rich Trumka and Nancy Pelosi and there’s no daylight between the labor movement and the Democratic Caucus on this,” said Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.) a freshman and former labor organizer who was at the meeting.