Mexico president pushes Congress to pass labor law after Pelosi trade warning

FILE PHOTO: Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador looks on during a meeting with industry bosses and members of his cabinet to discuss the new administration's policy on the minimum wage at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico December 17, 2018. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican lawmakers should pass a bill to protect worker rights as agreed during negotiations over a trade pact to replace NAFTA, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday, after pressure by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to speed up the legislation.

Lopez Obrador, who met with U.S. lawmakers this week, said he did want to there to be any motive for the United States to reopen negotiations of the pact, which wound up last year.

“We have told lawmakers, who are independent and autonomous, that a labor reform should be passed sticking to the agreements established in the pact,” Lopez Obrador said at a daily briefing.

“We don’t want any motive to be given for reopening the negotiations of the treaty,” he said.

Pelosi on Tuesday said the U.S. House of Representatives could not take up the deal, known as USMCA, until Mexico passes legislation protecting workers.

Members of the labor committee in the Mexican Congress have said they plan to pass legislation by the end of this month that would make it easier for workers to form independent unions.

Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Steve Orlofsky