Action by USTR marks the first use of the USMCA Rapid Response Labor Mechanism

On May 12, 2021,the US Trade Representative (USTR) announced that the United States has asked Mexico to review whether workers at a General Motors (GM) facility are being denied the right of free association and collective bargaining.  The request is the first time any country has used the novel Rapid Response Labor Mechanism in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). USTR and the Department of Labor received information appearing to indicate serious violations of these workers’ rights in Silao, State of Guanajuato in connection with a recent worker vote, organized by the existing union, to approve their collective bargaining agreement. 

USTR’s announcement said that, in connection with the U.S. request, Ambassador Tai has directed the Secretary of the Treasury to suspend the final settlement of customs accounts related to entries of goods from GM’s Silao facility.  Under USMCA Article 31-A.4.3, liquidation will resume once there is an agreement by the Parties that there is no Denial of Rights or a finding by a panel that there is no Denial of Rights.