In 1994, in an effort to increase trade with Mexico and Canada, we approved the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), creating the worldâ€™s largest free trade area. NAFTA removed taxes on products traded between these countries and gave multinational corporations the unprecedented right to sue governments for infringement of â€œinvestment rights.â€ These investor protections encouraged the relocation of many American manufacturing plants to Mexico – which is cheaper and less regulated than we are. For nearly 20 years, NAFTAâ€™s impact on American jobs has been intensely debated. However, it now appears Ross Perotâ€™s 1992 presidential election statement regarding â€œthe giant sucking soundâ€ of U.S. jobs heading for the border was somewhat accurate. Supporters claim NAFTA has been a resounding success, crediting it for fueling unprecedented trade and creating millions of jobs here. Foreign investment in Mexico has quadrupled and its over-all trade has tripled during these two decades. They say we must continue to build upon NAFTA and think more as a region in order to be globally competitive. Advocates and unions agree that NAFTA has been a big success for multinational corporations and has made Mexico into a manufacturing giant, but they claim it has also caused great problems for many inhabitants of both nations. They claim offshoring and lower wages have hurt our economy, led to the loss of our manufacturing sector and significantly contributed to the demise of our middle class. They also say that Mexicoâ€™s rural industries have been destabilized. Many employees of Mexicoâ€™s small companies lost their jobs when their firms failed once NAFTA removed their protective tariffs. This unemployment has been cited as the main reason our illegal immigration doubled in the years after NAFTA was enacted, even though supporters had said this pact would reduce the incentive for illegal immigration. America lost much of its manufacturing and shipping jobs to NAFTA. What we are getting as a result of approving NAFTA, critics say, are American products with American design and technology but without American labor. They disagree that NAFTA has provided millions of jobs, claiming it has merely substituted good-paying American jobs for poor-paying ones. Studies show that over 60% of the net NAFTA job losses were high-paying manufacturing jobs in states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, California and Ohio. Critics also say that threats by corporations to relocate put significant downward pressure on the wages of many American jobs. They claim this â€œrace to the bottomâ€ is the legacy of free trade and NAFTA.
H.R.191 – NAFTA Accountability Act
H.R.156 – To provide for the withdrawal of the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement
I oppose reforming current NAFTA policy and wish to defeat H.R.191 and H.R.156
I support providing that unless the conditions set forth in this Act are met, Congress shall withdraw its approval of the North American Free Trade Agreement; specifies that among such conditions that the President renegotiates NAFTA to correct trade deficits, currency distortions and the impact of agricultural imports on U.S. production; prescribes requirements for gains in U.S. jobs and living standards, increased domestic manufacturing; expresses the sense of Congress that until such conditions are met the President should not engage in negotiations to expand NAFTA to include other countries, and wish to pass H.R.191
I support withdrawing Congress’s approval of the North American Free Trade Agreement and directing the President to provide written notice of the withdrawal to the governments of Canada and Mexico, and wish to pass H.R.156