Biden Admin Bullies a Mexico Mine on Behalf of Powerful Unions


Fox News reports that the White House is escalating a labor dispute at a major mine in central Mexico, backed by powerful labor unions—USTR, AFL-CIO, USW, and Los Mineros. This could have a devastating effect on workers and the economy.

The US is claiming the company is abusing the workers, but it’s believed by some to be a ploy to bolster the union, backed by powerful US unions.

Mexico said this is outside the purview of the trade agreement.

The administration is using a tool in the 2020 United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that is being stretched beyond its legal intent.

The tool, The Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM), is a provision that allows the government to take enforcement action against factories if they fail to comply with domestic freedom of association and collective bargaining laws.

We don’t appear to have a legal right to do so since the problem began before RRM and was settled before RRM, and none of the minerals that come out of that mine are traded with the US or have anything to do with us. We’re bullying them to resettle a settled case, which could destroy the company.

Jonathan Stoel, a partner at the law firm Hogan Lovells, which represents the San Martin mine, said, “It is jurisdictionally defective, and there has been no denial of rights at the mine.”

The RRLM process since the June 2023 petition has been conducted unfairly by the U.S. government and has been rife with procedural violations.

“The U.S. government’s own documents that were made public as a result of our FOIA request revealed that USTR rejected a similar petition containing the same facts in 2020 and confirmed that this petition is more about politics than alleged labor violations.”

The Chamber of Commerce filed a brief with concerns about the implication of a North American nation invoking the RRM in the future.

“The U.S. government’s pursuit of this case violates a central principle upon which the U.S. legal system was built. The principle is that laws do not have retroactive effect unless the lawmakers expressly specify otherwise,” the US Chamber of Commerce’s November brief stated, Fox News reports.

The case dates back to 2007 and was settled in 2018. Biden reopened this settled dispute to rewrite the agreement to meet the political will of the labor unions.

US Trade Rep Katherine Tai
Rep. Carol Miller wrote in a letter to US Trade Rep. Tai saying it’s an abuse of the agreement.

“Once again, Joe Biden is failing to promote fair trade or prioritize U.S. trade interests,” Miller told Fox News Digital in a written statement. “The Biden administration’s choice to use RRM to reopen already settled labor disputes that have no impact on American industry demonstrates a lack of seriousness in their trade agenda.”

Potential outcomes could include the closing of the mine and the loss of jobs for workers. Additionally, it could possibly end in the dropping of charges against Los Mineros General Secretary Urrutia, who allegedly embezzled $54 million. That was one of Los Mineros’ demands to end the strike in 2007—drop charges against a likely criminal.

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