MEXICO CITY >> The second round of talks on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement has ended amid resistance to discussing Mexico’s low wages.
Relatively few concrete proposals appear to have been made on issues like dispute-resolution mechanisms, seasonal farm tariffs and regional content rules during the talks in Mexico City.
The United States wants to eliminate the current system of private arbitration panels, and tighten labor standards and local content rules in products like autos. But business groups want to keep wages out of the talks.
The head of the United Fresh Produce Association, Thomas Stenzel, said today growers are willing to bring labor rules like forced or child labor into the pact but “when it comes to wages we don’t feel that that is as appropriate in the trade agreement.”