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

September 15, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Co-Chair of the bipartisan House Great Lakes Task Force, released the following statement after the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed a nearly $60 billion reconciliation bill that included her request for $350 million in funding for a state-of-the-art Great Lakes heavy icebreaker for the U.S. Coast Guard.

August 5, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) released the following statement on the passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

“For nearly 50 years, Richard Trumka fiercely defended the rights of, and advanced justice for millions of hardworking men and women who clocked in to work every day to build up their own version of the American Dream.

April 20, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, the bipartisan House Great Lakes Task Force Co-Chairs Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), David Joyce (R-OH), and Bill Huizenga (R-MI), along with Bill Foster (D-IL) and Jack Bergman (R-MI), led a group of 32 Members of Congress in sending a bipartisan letter to Office of Budget and Management (OMB) Acting Director Shalanda Young and Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jaime A. Pinkham outlining the Task Force’s budget priorities for the Great Lakes region in FY2022.  

 

April 9, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, released the following statement after President Joe Biden released his FY2022 budget request. Rep. Kaptur also serves on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense and the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies.

 

March 16, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), released the following statement following reports that Ford Motor Company will not honor its negotiated contractual commitments to add jobs and production at the Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, instead, shifting jobs and production to Mexico.

 

February 26, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, House Auto Caucus co-chairs Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Representatives Mike Kelly (R-PA) and caucus members Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.), and 27 other members of Congress asked the Biden Administration in a letter to recognize and take action on the domestic shortage of semiconductor wafer chips.

 

February 25, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), delivered the following statement on the House floor in support of President Joe Biden’s recent order to review U.S. supply chain weaknesses. Footage of Rep.

July 30, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Tim Ryan (D-OH), sent the following letter calling on the leaders of the House and Senate to consider robust economic relief for small and medium sized manufacturers in the next coronavirus relief bill. Manufacturing communities across the U.S., especially in Ohio and the industrial Midwest, have been hurting for decades.

July 1, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), released the following statement as President Trump’s United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), the minor rewrite to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), goes into effect. Rep. Kaptur voted against both NAFTA and USMCA.

 

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.