Canada and Mexico launch first-ever labour working group to implement new NAFTA

News release

Expert working group will ensure new worker protections are fully implemented

August 1, 2019 - Mexico City, Mexico - Employment and Social Development Canada

The new NAFTA is built to improve labour standards and working conditions in Canada, the United States and Mexico.

Canada is working closely with Mexico to support its labour reforms—especially in areas that are crucial for the implementation of the new NAFTA.

As part of this cooperation, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, met today with Luisa María Alcalde, Mexico’s Secretary of Labour and Social Welfare. The two announced the creation of the new Canada-Mexico Bilateral Labour Working Group.

The newly formed working group will ensure that Canadian expertise is fully available to share best practices and strengthen cooperation with Mexico. The working group will also bring together Canadian and Mexican experts to help implement the new NAFTA’s labour protections and standards.


“The Canada-Mexico Bilateral Labour Working Group on the new NAFTA will support important labour reforms in Mexico and will raise the bar for workers in all three partner countries. Upholding labour standards creates the best possible conditions for growth and supports better jobs and prosperity for workers, families and their communities.”

- The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“Canada will help Mexico advance labour reforms laid out in the new NAFTA, which will in turn strengthen our trade relationship and support good jobs and economic prosperity. By levelling the playing field, we will help workers in Canada and make North America more competitive in the world economy.”

- The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • On November 30, 2018, Canada, the United States and Mexico signed the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, referred to as the new NAFTA.

  • Canada reached an important milestone in its ratification process for the new NAFTA on May 29, 2019, with the introduction of Bill C-100, an act to implement the agreement. On June 20, 2019, the House of Commons approved second reading of Bill C-100 and referred it to committee.

  • The new NAFTA’s labour chapter includes provisions to prohibit the importation of goods produced by forced labour, to address violence against workers exercising their labour rights and to ensure migrant workers are protected under labour laws.

  • According to 2018 data, Canada and Mexico are each other’s third-largest trading partners.

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Véronique Simard
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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