USMCA would help Latinos

Published 12:28 am Wednesday, August 7, 2019

By Hector V. Barreto

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement would benefit Latinos in various ways.

1. The agreement requires the Mexican government to protect workers’ right to unionize. 

The government must enforce regulations on working hours, minimum wages, and worker health and safety. To ensure the success of these provisions, USMCA requires Mexico to establish a new system of courts for adjudicating labor disputes. All three nations must observe rules protecting migrant workers from unfair practices and ban any form of compulsory labor. These provisions are crucial for Latino laborers, who are disproportionately likely to suffer economic exploitation at the hands of unethical businessmen.

2. USMCA benefits Latino small business owners and their millions of workers.

As the chairman of The Latino Coalition and the former U.S. Small Business Administrator, I have the privilege of working with Latino business owners across the country. They’re concerned about growing their businesses in an uncertain economic climate. USMCA will make it easier for Latino entrepreneurs to access markets in Mexico and Canada. The agreement devotes an entire chapter to reducing the burdens faced by small- and medium-sized firms when doing business elsewhere in North America. 

3. USMCA supports Latinos in creative industries.

Writers, musicians, and filmmakers will surely applaud the deal’s stronger intellectual property protections. The agreement provides copyright protection for books, music, and movies. It also prohibits customs duties on digital products like software and e-books. These changes make it easier for Latino creators to sell their works abroad.
Lawmakers have delayed a USMCA vote long enough. It’s time they give this historic trade deal the swift ratification it deserves.

Hector Barreto is Chairman of The Latino Coalition and former Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.