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.


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.


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

December 7, 2018 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Dean of the Ohio Delegation and Co-Chair of the Auto Caucus, today sent a letter with four of her colleagues to President Donald Trump formally asking him to visit the communities impacted by General Motors’ decision to idle several North America plants.  The letter was signed by Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-13), Rep. Joyce Beatty (OH-03) and Rep.-Elect Andy Levin (MI-09).

November 30, 2018 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Dean of the Ohio Delegation and longest-serving woman in Congress, today released the following statement after President Trump signed a new trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada:

“The same week General Motors announced the idling of five U.S. facilities and cutting 15,000 living wage jobs, including in Lordstown, Ohio, President Trump has claimed premature victory as U.S., Canadian and Mexican officials signed a tentative replacement for NAFTA.

October 1, 2018 Press Release

Toledo, Ohio – Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Dean of the Ohio Delegation and a leader in the initial fight to prevent NAFTA from being enacted, released the following statement after text of a modernized trade deal between the United States, Canada, and Mexico was released.


August 27, 2018 Press Release

Toledo, Ohio – Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Dean of the Ohio Delegation and the longest-serving woman in the U.S. House Representatives, released the following statement after news that the United States and Mexico reached a tentative trade agreement on a range of issues.

June 21, 2018 Press Release

Kaptur called on President Trump to “stop the barbaric tactics and stop breaking up working families” and come to the table for a productive solution that regularizes labor flow across North America and renegotiates bad trade deals that punishes workers both here and abroad.

May 1, 2018 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Dean of the Ohio Delegation, released the following statement regarding news of the Trump Administration’s continued delays on finalizing relief for the U.S. steel industry:

“The President’s team promised a decision on steel a year ago. Unfortunately, mixed signals, lack of clarity, and failure to consult fully with other nations, has created chaos and upset the markets globally.

April 19, 2018 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09,) in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, urged the Trump Administration to actively oppose anti-worker legislation currently moving through the Mexican Senate.

March 8, 2018 Press Release


Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), released the following statement after President Donald Trump’s proclamation today with specifics on steel tariffs.

March 1, 2018 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), released the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s announcement that his administration would take action and impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel. Specifics have not yet been released.

February 16, 2018 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Commerce released its long awaited and long-delayed report on illegal dumping of steel on the U.S. market.

“Though, thoughtful and prudent action must be weighed carefully, the release of this report, is a good step,” said Kaptur. “While the delays have been frequent and frustrating, I commend the Administration on a thorough report and Secretary Ross’s attention to communities that have been devastated by a rigged global market.”