Ambassador Katherine Tai was sworn in as U.S. Trade Representative and is the first trade representative since the George W. Bush administration to be approved unanimously by the Senate. In her first month, she already met with her Canadian and Mexican counterparts to follow up on the implementation of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada new trilateral agreement (USMCA). The three North American officials agreed to pursue a USMCA Free Trade Commission in the near future.
As part of her conversation with Mexico’s Secretary of Economy Tatiana Clouthier, Ambassador Tai addressed Mexico’s next steps in the implementation of its labor reform. This took place after a coalition of U.S. trade associations and business groups submitted a letter to the administration bringing attention to Mexico’s labor commitments under the new trilateral agreement.
Business leaders from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada also urged their governments to fully implement USMCA and focus on enhancing a coordinated North American pandemic response and North American competitiveness. Last week, Ambassador Tai held virtual meetings with business leaders about increasing vaccine production, global health issues, and a proposed waiver to certain provisions of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) related to the COVID-19 pandemic. She also met virtually with labor unions and advocacy organizations regarding the same.