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

January 29, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), released the following statement after President Donald Trump signed the implementing legislation for the revised United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), the spiritual successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Rep. Kaptur voted against both NAFTA and USMCA.


December 19, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), released the following statement after voting against the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Rep. Kaptur’s floor speech urging her colleagues to vote against USMCA can be viewed here.

December 17, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, released the following statement after the House passed two legislative packages that together comprise all 12 fiscal year 2020 funding bills – H.R. 1865, domestic priorities and international assistance appropriations minibus, and H.R.

October 28, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON — Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Co-Chair of the House Auto Caucus, released the following statement after General Motors (GM) and United Auto Workers (UAW) agreed on a negotiated contract, ending a 40-day strike by nearly 50,000 GM employees. 

July 26, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — On Thursday, Co-Chairs of the Congressional Auto Caucus Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Mike Kelly (R-PA), submitted bipartisan testimony to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce during the committee’s Member Day hearing.


July 18, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) voted to pass the Raise the Wage Act, a landmark piece of legislation to gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 over six years. According to independent economic analysis, the bill would increase pay for up to 33 million American workers, including 128,300 workers (39.8%) in Ohio’s Ninth Congressional District.

July 17, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), introduced the Independent Labor Secretariat for Fair Trade Deals Act of 2019, legislation that would establish an independent Labor Secretariat with the authority to address transnational issues relating to labor, monitor and enforce labor-related trade agreement provisions, and provide research relating to the effects of trade agreements on jobs and communities in the countries covered by the agreement. 

June 25, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON — Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 3055, an Appropriations package totaling $383.3 billion in discretionary spending that consists of five Fiscal Year 2020 funding bills, Commerce-Justice-Science, Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA, Interior-Environment, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development.


April 12, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) applauded the historic legislative achievements made in the first 100 of the new Democratic Majority in the House of Representatives:

March 22, 2019 Press Release

Cleveland — Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9), alongside medical experts and patient advocates, joined together for a press conference to call on the Trump Administration to reopen the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) for negotiations so that a disastrous provision locking high prescription drug costs for millions of U.S. patients can be eliminated.