US Department of Labor, Mexican Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare officials meet to discuss labor protections in US-Mexico-Canada Agreement
WASHINGTON, DC – Senior officials of the U.S. Department of Labor and the Mexican Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare met this week in Mexico City to discuss the challenges, opportunities and commitments needed to advance the implementation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
During the Sept. 1-3 trip, Deputy Undersecretary of International Labor Affairs Thea Lee met with Mexican labor and social welfare officials, and with labor judges and conciliators. Their in-depth meetings included discussions of the following issues:
- Reaffirming the U.S. and Mexico’s commitment to strong labor law enforcement to make the USMCA as effective as possible.
- Emphasizing the importance of U.S. technical assistance and cooperation to support Mexico’s labor reform.
- Strengthening labor standards to protect workers, reduce discrimination in employment and address gaps in occupational safety and health.
- Ensuring education and social protection for families, and decent work opportunities for adults to combat child and forced labor.
“This trip represented an extraordinary opportunity to hear from the Mexican government, workers, labor experts and employers about how we can continue to strengthen labor protections in the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Labor Affairs Thea Lee. “After our meetings, we are more confident than ever that the Department of Labor’s powerful tools – including technical assistance, enforcement mechanisms, enhanced cooperation and strong partnership with the Mexican government – can help ensure workers from both countries can benefit from this trade agreement.”
In July 2021, Vice President Kamala Harris announced $180 million in U.S. investments in Mexico to improve labor standards in the country. Since 2016, ILAB has invested more than $90 million in technical assistance activities in Mexico, of which approximately $50 million have been dedicated USMCA funds.