“We must ensure that workers are protected by progressive labor standards,” he argued.
Wages have been a contentious issue in NAFTA renegotiation talks because salaries are much lower in Mexico compared to its two northern neighbors, and the U.S. especially has argued that it places its automotive and other manufacturing industries at a distinct disadvantage.
He thanked Mexico for its leadership on climate change and for supporting the inclusion of a section in a new NAFTA deal that recognizes the specific importance of women in the labor market as well as their rights.
“We must move the needle forward on gender equality, this is an idea that all nations of the world should get behind,” he said.
“This is why Canada is so appreciative of Mexico’s support for a gender chapter in the modernization of NAFTA . . . this is a progressive step forward that we can’t afford not to take.”
However, Trudeau quickly changed the tone of the speech, saying, “we still have work to do, notably as it relates to human rights.”
“Just yesterday, I met with civil society leaders here in Mexico City and I heard stories about the treatment of women and girls that are unacceptable,” he said.
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