Kaptur urges Administration to put workers first as NAFTA renegotiations begin
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.
“For many of us, this day has been more than two decades in the making, and I urge President Trump not to let workers in Ohio and across our heartland down,” said Kaptur. “This is no time for politics or pandering to corporations and special interests. America needs a continental compact that lifts up workers on all sides of the border, raises wages and balances U.S. trade accounts.”
Kaptur signed on to a letter in June with House Democrats outlining priorities that should be included in any new NAFTA deal.
Specifically, Kaptur requested:
- An open and transparent negotiation process
- Eliminating special industry privileges and incentives to offshore jobs
- Ending the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism
- Eliminating rules that require waiving ‘Buy American’ and buy local procurement preferences
- A clear path to close the U.S. trade deficits
- New rules that benefit farmers and not agribusiness trading and processing firms
- Imported products and foreign service providers meet U.S. safety standards
- That renegotiation not be used to expand corporate monopolies on intellectual property for drugs
- Strict, enforceable disciplines to fight against currency manipulation
- High, fully enforceable, labor and environmental standards
Kaptur is a leading voice for fair trade in the House and has long been an opponent of trade deals like NAFTA that harm workers and favor big corporations. Earlier this year, Kaptur introduced the Balancing Trade Act, which requires the President to address our trade deficit by adjusting our policies with those countries that have a large and continuous trade imbalance with America.
Last week, Kaptur 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. This letter comes after Kaptur testified at a Commerce Department hearing (video) on May 24 and urged the Administration to expedite the investigation and any related action. Secretary Ross told Kaptur at the hearing that the report would be completed by June, a self-imposed deadline that is now six weeks overdue. Kaptur was the only Member of Congress to testify.