The US and Canada can sue Mexico for labor violation under USMCA


Specialists Valeria Moy, Leonor Quiroz, and Alfredo Kupfer explain what the Rapid Response Mechanism is and in what situation Mexico can be sued by the US or Canada

After the two requests that the United States sent to Mexico for violating labor rights under the USMCA, specialists explained that problems begin when non-compliance affects trade between countries.

In a digital forum held by the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO), experts in labor matters, Leonor Quiroz and Alfredo Kupfer, detailed what the Rapid Response Mechanism is and in what situation Mexico can be sued by the United States or Canada.

At the meeting, moderated by the director of IMCO, Valeria Moy, Leonor Quiroz explained that only our country can receive a request of this nature when it affects trade or investment between the parties.

Given this, she clarified that among the measures included in the labor chapter of the USMCA are: freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of any forced labor, child labor, discrimination, gender issues, among others.

The US also  says that with USMCA labor violations are dealt with faster in Mexico

For her part, Valoria Moy stressed that, despite the fact that there is some violation in labor matters in a Mexican company, this does not mean that a lawsuit automatically enters under the USMCA: “It will only be applied in its operations with the trade”, he pointed.

What is the Rapid Response Mechanism?

Alfredo Kupfer, also a lawyer, explained that this mechanism was designed specifically for the USMCA case.

Likewise, he said, this measure became a requirement to sign or not the Treaty. “This is absolutely new, there is no such mechanism in any type of trade agreement in the world,” he said.

In addition, he mentioned that in this chapter there are obligations only for Mexico, as there are none for Canada and the United States.

The Rapid Response Mechanism was created for two important aspects: claims of denial of rights in the area of ​​freedom of union association and in the area of ​​effective collective bargaining.

“Those two aspects are what now open the door to a series of claims,” ​​he said.

He also clarified that, in Chapter 23 of labor obligations, countries will not be able to encourage investment through the weakening of labor rights.

“The USMCA is a great response to this labor part, both to the salary issue due to symmetry and to the symmetry in the union part of the large number of unions that existed in our country on paper, in white unions.”

Can Mexico also sue the United States or Canada?

Kupfer pointed out that this is a treaty that gives countries access to deal, at the same time, claims with the same opportunities to enforce compliance in foreign territory.

“There are the same investment rules for the three countries,” he said.

However, he explained that even though we have the same opportunity, “what we need is a greater infrastructure to have a bit of balance … because the United States knows us perfectly in labor matters.”


Mexico Daily Post