The USTR filed a labor complaint under the Mexico-United States-Canada Treaty (USMCA) against a General Motors plant in Silao, Mexico.
In general, the rapid response mechanism in the USMCA foresees an investigation by an independent panel in the “covered facilities” on the suspicion of denial of the right of free association and collective bargaining, with the potential of sanctions and blocking of imports. of the entities.
For the United States, covered facilities would be limited to those previously proven to have violated United States law.
In the case of Mexico, a lawsuit can only be filed with respect to an alleged violation of labor rights under Mexico’s labor reform commitments under the USMCA.
Violations could result in a suspension of preferential tariffs or possible penalties on products manufactured or services provided by the covered facility.
So far, the General Motors facility is the first case promoted directly by the USTR, in conjunction with the Department of Labor.
“(This) shows the Biden-Harris administration’s serious commitment to workers and a worker-centered trade policy,” said Katherine Tai, head of the USTR.
After receiving a confidential hotline established to enforce the USMCA and after a union election was suspended, the USTR initiated the case of the General Motors plant in Silao, Guanajuato, where there were allegedly “serious violations” of labor rights.
On Tuesday, the Mexican Ministry of Labor reported that it detected “serious irregularities” in the vote and ordered it to be held again in 30 days, following accusations that the union at the facility had manipulated that election process.
On Monday, the AFL-CIO and other groups filed the first request for a labor rapid response case against Tridonex, an auto parts company located in Matamoros, Mexico.