Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur

Representing the 9th District of Ohio

Trade

Congresswoman Kaptur has been fighting for a “fair trade” policy since she came to Congress.

In the early 1990s, Congresswoman Kaptur joined House Majority Whip David Bonior and freshman Congressman Sherrod Brown in leading the House effort against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

America today sees the results of this failed policy: shuttered factories, depleted tax bases, and families out of work. NAFTA promised millions of good jobs for Americans, but we got the giant sucking sound that H. Ross Perot predicted.

NAFTA and similar agreements contributed to the devastation of our great manufacturing sector, which has lost a third of its workers since 1994 due in part to unfair trade. Multinational corporations rushed to low-wage countries to take advantage of cheap labor. Meanwhile, state-managed trade policy in nations such as Japan, Germany, and South Korea continued to keep out American-made products.

Working together, our businesses and labor organizations built Northern Ohio into an industrial powerhouse, always standing up for America, whether in war or peace. America's working men and working women and their families deserve a government that takes their side, not the side of big money. They deserve fair trade agreements that produce a level economic playing field, not a race to the bottom.
 

STEMMING JOBS LOSSES AND BALANCING OUR TRADE DEFICIT

We cannot sit by idly while American jobs are being shipped overseas, our manufacturing base is being eroded, our wages decline, and our economy is threatened by unfair trade agreements and ballooning trade deficits. Congress needs to take dramatic action to stop the downward economic spiral.

Two pieces of legislation by Congresswoman Kaptur address this issue directly:
The NAFTA Accountability Act (H.R. 191) would withdraw the U.S. from NAFTA unless the President renegotiates its terms to correct serious flaws. It would require the Administration to certify to Congress that since enactment NAFTA has resulted in:
 
  • more jobs and higher living standards;
  • increased domestic manufacturing;
  • maintenance of health and environmental standards;
  • no increase in pollution near the border;
  • no increase in the importation of illegal drugs, and;
  • observance by Mexico of political and human rights.
Congresswoman Kaptur also introduced the Balancing Trade Act every Congress. This straightforward legislation requires the President to take the necessary steps to eliminate—or at least substantially reduce—any bilateral trade deficit that has totaled at least $10 billion annually for more than three consecutive years.
 

EXPANDING TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE

We must support workers who have lost their jobs due to unfair competition. Congresswoman Kaptur has been a consistent champion of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), which provides job training and other assistance to workers who have been laid off due to trade. Each year Congresswoman Kaptur strongly advocates for full funding of all of the TAA programs, including TAA for Workers, TAA for Firms, and the new TAA for Communities program, which will allow areas to receive federal funding to develop a strategy to diversify and strengthen their economy.

NAFTA at TEN: Journey to Mexico
Report of the U.S. Congressional Delegation November 14-18, 2003

More on Trade

May 24, 2017 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), today testified at a public hearing held by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding its investigation of steel imports and illegal dumping of steel which has devastated steel-making communities such as Lorain, OH in the district she represents with job loss and uncertainty. Kaptur was the only Member of Congress to testify at the hearing.

See the following key excerpts from Kaptur testimony (watch here at 16:12 mark):

May 18, 2017 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) today issued the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s notice to Congress that he intends to renegotiate NAFTA:

“This is when the rubber meets the road, Mr. President. You made a promise to workers in Ohio and across our great Nation. I intend to fight every day to ensure you live up to that promise.

May 2, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), today joined 30 Members of the House of Representatives in writing a letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, urging the Administration to address the United States-Russia bilateral trade relationship. Despite the President’s focus on trade, the Administration has not addressed Russia’s predatory and protectionist policies that put American workers, farmers, and businesses at an unfair disadvantage.

April 28, 2017 In The News

President Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric on trade hit like a cannonball across our Great Lakes heartland. From steel to solar panels, workers have been devastated by bad trade deals. Unfair market practices from China, Korea, and other nations that rig the global marketplace in their favor. The middle class and working families throughout Ohio took a chance on Donald Trump.

April 13, 2017 Press Release

TOLEDO, OH — Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) today called on President Trump to uphold his campaign promise to label China as a currency manipulator and address the impact that the trade deficit has had on American workers. Throughout his campaign and his first months in office, President Trump pledged to the American people that he would correct our China trade policy and declared that this was essential to delivering on two other promises—to reduce our massive trade deficit and to ‘bring back’ American manufacturing jobs.

April 5, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) today joined a group of 90 Members of the House of Representatives in writing to President Trump, demanding that he fix the failed policies on trade with China. Throughout his campaign and his first months in office, President Trump pledged to the American people that he would correct our China trade policy and declared that this was essential to delivering on two other promises—to reduce our massive trade deficit and to ‘bring back’ American manufacturing jobs.

March 31, 2017 Press Release

Toledo – Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s Executive Order on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):

March 27, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Rob Portman (R-OH), and U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-09) today invited Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to visit Lorain to meet with steelworkers and steel companies to see the impact of unfair trade on Ohio’s manufacturing sector. Ross committed to visit Lorain in separate meetings with Brown and Kaptur last week.

February 10, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) joined as a cosponsor of the Buy American Improvement Act of 2017. The bipartisan legislation would ensure that iron and steel for infrastructure and transportation projects is made in America.

January 31, 2017 In The News

Last week, President Trump canceled U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade organization made up of 12 nations, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam… Yet when NAFTA was passed, despite warnings from Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, and Marcy Kaptur.