Saturday, October 16, 2021

US Trade Office says GM Mexico labor case is over, tariff threat lifted

WASHINGTON – A US worker complaint under the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement at the General Motors plant union vote in Mexico has been successfully ended, raising the threat of US tariffs on factory pickup trucks, US Trade Representative (USTR) the office said. on Wednesday.

The United States opened the case in May following complaints that workers’ rights were being violated at a GM pickup-truck plant in Silao, central Mexico, in a vote on whether to retain or cancel their collective union contract. to do.

The results were suspended after Mexico’s Ministry of Labor found irregularities in the process and workers voted again in August to rescind the contract, leaving one of Mexico’s largest labor groups their own. The door to exit as a union was opened.

The vote, along with safeguards agreed by Mexico and the United States to ensure a fair vote, was the first test of labor rules under the USMCA agreement that replaced the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“We will continue to cooperate closely with Mexico to strengthen the legalization vote process and ensure that workers in Mexico can exercise their rights to freedom of union and collective bargaining,” US Trade Ambassador Catherine Tai said in a statement. “

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The vote in August marked a defeat for one of the most powerful unions in Mexico, while also representing an opening for workers to freely choose independent groups they think are best for their interests. Will fight.

Labor measures under the USMCA include revoking tariff-free access to infringing factory goods. In GM’s case, this could mean imposing a 25 percent US pickup truck import duty on Silao-built trucks, potentially adding thousands of dollars to the cost of each vehicle.

Tai helped negotiate the labor enforcement mechanism on behalf of the Democrats in the US Congress.

GM won significant changes to the USMCA that allowed it to continue manufacturing hundreds of thousands of high-mileage pickups in Mexico for export to the United States annually.

GM did not immediately comment on Wednesday.

by David Lauder and David Shepardson

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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