- The Mexican Senate overwhelmingly passed a highly-anticipated law granting secret ballots to Mexican workers voting on union representation and contract terms, according to multiple reports.
- Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. labor leaders marked this law a condition of their support for the United States, Mexico and Canada agreement (USMCA), which has yet to be ratified by any of the three countries that signed onto it in October.
- Democrats and labor leaders previously said passage would not be enough to gain their support, and they would require evidence of implementation and enforcement to be satisfied.
Despite this seemingly good news for President Trump's top priority this year, the USMCA may be in more trouble than ever.
Just after the law passed, Democratic Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer told reporters, "We talked about we need much more adequate enforcement of labor protections," on his way out of a meeting with the President, White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
In a tweet Tuesday, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka threatened to walk away if the White House "chooses to waste" an opportunity that helps North American families, indicating the labor organization is far from satisfied with USMCA.
Working people want to get to yes. This isn't the way to get us there. We have an opportunity to craft an agreement that helps families across North America. But, if the White House chooses to waste it, we won't hesitate to walk away from an incomplete, unenforceable deal. #1u— Richard Trumka (@RichardTrumka) April 30, 2019
The deal is facing even stronger opposition from within the President's own party than it was a week ago.
In Sunday's Wall Street Journal, Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, published an op-ed titled "Trump's Tariffs End or His Trade Deal Dies." In the piece, he called for an end to steel and aluminum tariffs arguing, "jobs, wages and communities are hurt every day these tariffs continue — as I hear directly from Iowans. It’s time for the tariffs to go."
Grassley did not offer his opinion on the possibility of import quotas replacing tariffs, which some industry executives are starting to see as a likely alternative.
Grassley will meet with President Trump at the White House to discuss trade policy Thursday, according to Politico.