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

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.


March 11, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, released the following statement in response to President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Request, which includes an 11% reduction to the Department of Energy and a $270 million dollar, 90 % cut to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.


March 6, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) released the following statement after the Commerce Department announced the United States posted an $891.2 billion trade deficit in 2018, the largest in our nation’s 243-year history. The Commerce Department also announced the trade deficit with China hit a record $419 billion. Economists have agreed that the record trade deficit has been exacerbated by President Trump and the Republican Party’s $1.5 trillion corporate tax cut, which was signed into law in 2017.


February 26, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Co-Chair of the House Congressional Auto Caucus, released the following statement after Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced plans to invest $4.5 billion to expand its Jeep and Ram brands, including investment in electric drivetrains for Jeep brand vehicles. Rep. Kaptur represents Toledo, Ohio.


February 6, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13), Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Congressman Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), and Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) responded to President Trump’s State of the Union speech in which he praised his NAFTA 2.0 agreement.

January 28, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), the longest-serving woman in U.S. House history and Dean of the Ohio Delegation, released the following statement following President Trump and Republicans’ decision to temporarily reopen the federal government after 35 days of the Trump Shutdown:


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.