The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement: Labor Rights and Environmental Protection
Mexico Center, Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy (June 13, 2019)
12 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 13, 2019
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) provides chapters on labor rights and environmental protection that go well beyond the protections embodied in the two NAFTA "side Agreements" and in significant respects improve on those incorporated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement negotiated by the Obama Administration. Among the most important USMCA innovations are requirements for new Mexican labor laws (now enacted) that for the first time should permit effective collective bargaining and union organization for workers in Mexico. The environmental provisions, while similar to those in the TPP in their treatment of such issues as over-fishing and marine pollution, also incorporate important procedural mechanisms such as NAFTA's Commission for Environmental Cooperation. This article discusses the evolution in labor and environmental protection from NAFTA to USMCA.
Keywords: free trade agreements, labor rights, environmental protection, NAFTA, USMCA, NAAEC, NAALC
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