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: PDF iconNAFTA at 10 -- Marcy Kaptur.pdf
Report of the U.S. Congressional Delegation November 14-18, 2003

More on Trade

November 8, 2017 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Amidst ongoing NAFTA renegotiations with Canada and Mexico, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) sent a letter, along with pages of testimony from Ohioans, to U.S. Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer urging that real labor standards and enforcement be included in any new continental trade agreement. 

October 6, 2017 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), the Dean of the Ohio Delegation, issued the following statement after news that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a Washington based trade group representing American corporations, called proposals in NAFTA negotiations “dangerous.”

September 12, 2017 Press Release

Toledo, Ohio – This weekend at the Farm Labor Organizing Committee convention in Toledo, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) reiterated her call for workers to be protected in a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Specifically, as part of NAFTA renegotiations, Kaptur called for the creation of a Labor Secretariat to advocate for workers on the continent.

August 16, 2017 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – As renegotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) begin, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), the Dean of the Ohio Delegation, urged President Donald Trump to focus his intentions on creating a trade deal that lifts up workers. 

August 11, 2017 Press Release

Washington, D.C. -- Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), the Dean of the Ohio Delegation, today wrote to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to inquire about delays into a Commerce Department investigation of steel imports and illegal dumping of steel.

July 17, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Dean of the Ohio Delegation, released the following statement regarding the U.S. Trade Representative’s release of objectives for the pending renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

June 14, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) this week joined several House Democrats in sending a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer, detailing priorities with respect to renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In the letter, Members requested direct collaboration with the Administration, a transparent and public renegotiation process, stripping special provisions that encourage companies to offshore jobs, fully enforceable labor and environmental standards, and other critical provisions.

May 25, 2017 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), today introduced the Balancing Trade Act of 2017, a bill to address our ongoing trade deficits and put our workers first. Kaptur was joined by original cosponsors Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-09), Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-13), Rep. Rick Nolan (MN-08) and Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ-03).

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):