Report | Inequality and Poverty

The Labor Side Accords to the North American Free Trade Agreement: An Endorsement of Abuse of Worker Rights in Mexico

Briefing Paper #43B

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On October 4, 1992 in Raleigh, North Carolina, Presidential candidate Bill
Clinton succinctly stated the case for a supplemental labor agreement to the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): “This agreement does nothing to reaffirm
our right to insist that the Mexicans follow their own labor standards, now frequently
violated–this is a very important issue–and not aggravating the wage differentials
which already exist.” The speech called for the establishment of an independent
commission to deal with worker rights. “It powers to educate, train, develop minimum
standards and have resolution powers and remedies. We have got to do this. This is a
big deal,” said Clinton.

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