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US asks Mexico to investigate labor rights at cargo airline under trade agreement

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The United States is asking Mexico to review whether the labor rights of pilots at a small cargo airline are being infringed, the eight such request Washington has made this year, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.

Since the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on trade took effect in 2020, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative has now launched a total of 13 labor rights complaints against facilities in Mexico.

The United States wants Mexico to probe if pilots at Mas Air, a Mexico City-based cargo airline, are being denied the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. The carrier’s web page says it operates five planes.

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U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai speaks in Brasilia, Brazil, on March 8, 2023.  (REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo)

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“Today’s action highlights the United States is committed to safeguarding the labor rights enshrined in the USMCA across industries and sectors,” Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement.

Washington wants the Mexican government to review the matter under the USMCA’s Rapid Response Labor Mechanism. Mexico has 10 days to agree to conduct a review and, if it agrees, 45 days from Wednesday to complete the review.

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