© 2021 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Government & Politics

Labor Complaints Filed Against Two Mexican Companies Using Provision Co-authored by Sen. Sherrod Brown

a photo of the USMCA at signing ceremony
Shealah Craighead
/
Flickr/Creative Commons
Copies of the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement are seen on the lap of a guest attending the USMCA signing ceremony Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, in front of the South Portico of the White House.

A provision in the U.S. Mexico-Canada trade agreement is getting its first test. Complaints have been lodged against two Mexican companies under a rapid response mechanism meant to stop workers from being mistreated.

Ohio’s senior senator welcomes the news.

The USMCA was the first trade agreement Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) voted for. It included the Brown-Wyden provision, which he co-authored with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), that offers this avenue to fight worker mistreatment.

Labor unions have initiated one complaint against the auto parts factory Tridonex in Matamoros, Mexico. The U.S. trade representative filed the other complaint alleging ballots cast in a union vote at a GM plant in northern Mexico were destroyed.

“These two Mexican companies are violating U.S. trade, labor law, they are mistreating illegally their workers in Mexico," Brown said.

Brown says cracking down on these practices will make it less attractive for American companies to take jobs to these countries—where incidents like this previously went unchecked, something he says that has impacted Ohio.

Sen. Sherrod Brown on USMCA provision
Labor complaints have been filed using the Brown-Wyden provision of USMCA against two companies in Mexico.
Sherrod Brown

“That's what in so many ways has hurt our state for decades with lost jobs; that companies move overseas and exploit cheap labor and weak environmental laws and then sell their products back here.”