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Mexico refuses to ratify NAFTA unless USA lifts tariffs

Mexico has refused to approve the labor-reform bill as a necessary step to ratifying the new North American free-trade pact ill the Trump administration lifts the punishing tariffs it has imposed on Mexican steel and aluminum imports.

The push to improve workers' rights in Mexico was a key priority for Canada and the United States during the NAFTA renegotiation as they wanted to level the playing field between their workers and lower-paid Mexican workers, especially in the auto sector.

The new Mexican government wants to rafity its ackage of labor reforms in Mexico's Congress before its April 30 adjournment to reflect the commitments that it made under the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement in domestic legislation. But that won't happen unless the United States lifts its section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum exports.

US President Donald Trump had imposed tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum from Mexico and Canada, using the controversial national-security clause in US trade law -- "Section 232," that both countries say was illegal.