Mexicans throwing a spanner in the USMCA trade pact?
Democrats, who've done nothing other than yell about impeachment these past two years, are hastily moving to get the redone free trade pact with Mexico and Canada out the door so they can say they've done something.
Just one problem, though: The Mexicans are balking. Here are some headlines:
Mexicans throw 11th hour curveball at Trump's biggest trade deal —Axios
Mexico Official Complains About 3-Way Trade Deal in Tweetstorm —Bloomberg
Mexico objects to USMCA ratification bill: 'We are not in agreement,' —Washington Times
Somehow, the Mexicans are the problem. Actually, the problem is the Democrats.
Democrats don't like free trade pacts to start with, but they find them useful for slipping in laws applicable to other countries they weren't elected to govern.
This time, they slipped in a sneaky little proviso at the last minute mandating that U.S. left-wing labor lawyers be dispatched to every Mexican factory to police the Mexicans' operations to American union standards. They did it without telling the Mexicans. The new proviso says they can send in their five favorite overseers to Mexico to look for "violations." Someone flips on a light switch, and the union contract says someone else is tasked to do it. Quick, write it up, it's a violation...
For obvious reasons, the Mexicans don't want that. Actually, no one does. The little rider the Democrats slipped in (and I am sure it was the Democrats, because they were obsessed with this kind of monitoring in the free trade pact wars of the Obama era, and Axios reports that Nancy Pelosi was crowing) is nothing but a bureaucratization of what's supposed to be free trade, and nobody ought to be surprised that the Mexicans view it as an infringement on their sovereignty, which it is. If Mexican factories have labor violations, it's the Mexican left-wing lawyers' job to raise a stink, not the leftist lawyers from the States. Mexico, being led by a far-left socialist government these days, has plenty of those to keep busy with.
Yet Axios and some others seem to be blaming Mexico (or President Trump) for this obvious Democrat overreach on what's simply supposed to be free trading between two peaceful states. "Mexican officials are complicating those plans," they put in the lede. Really? Deep into the piece you find the real story:
The USMCA is a deal tailor-made for organized labor and protectionist Democrats. That Republicans are willing to vote for it is a testament to the awesome power Trump wields over his party.
- Pelosi reportedly told her caucus that Democrats "ate their [Republicans'] lunch" on USMCA.
Yet incredibly, the Mexicans were never told. According to the Washington Times:
[Mexico's top trade official Jesus] Seade said that was not part of the agreement signed Dec. 10 in Mexico City by Mexico, the United States and Canada to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, but was rather the product of "political decisions by the congress and administration of the United States."
That should have been consulted with the country but was not, Seade said — "and, of course, we are not in agreement."
Inserting sneaky language into contracts and hoping the counterparty won't notice is no way to do trade pacts, son. Democrats should scrap this nasty little snuck-in proviso on those grounds alone, pass the pact without recess monitors, and treat our large Latino Mexican trading partner with just a little respect.