H.R. 156: To provide for the withdrawal of the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Decades of failed “free trade” policies have failed our nation. Now some legislators are working to fix that problem. Earlier this year Mike McIntyre introduced a bill that would force the U.S. to withdraw from the failed North American Free Trade Agreement was. The bill is currently stalled in committee.
Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC) has introduced H.R. 156, which would allow the U.S. to remove itself from the trade pact 60 days after the bill becomes law. It would also require the president to inform the governments of Canada and Mexico with written notice of America’s intentions.
“NAFTA has done way too much damage, and we need to repeal it. NAFTA has cost too many jobs, eroded our industrial base and decimated towns and communities,” he said in a statement.
“Enough is enough – we need to focus on creating jobs right here in the United States – not in foreign countries.”
The bill has be referred to the House Ways and Means Committee, but no action has been taken on it since that time.
“Free trade” is uncontrolled, unrestricted access to our economy, tariff- and duty-free, with products produced in foreign countries at wage rates much lower than ours, sometimes as low as $4 per hour. “Free trade” is thus forcing us to outsource most of our manufacturing, enriching the individuals and companies that do so, and turning more millionaires into billionaires while our manufacturing base and middle class jobs evaporate.
Prior to the implementation of NAFTA, the U.S. held a small trade surplus with Mexico of approximately $10 million. By 2007, that surplus had turned into an astounding $91 billion trade deficit. With Canada and Mexico combined, the U.S. has taken a $24 billion trade deficit prior to NAFTA and turned it into a $190 billion deficit – a 691 percent increase.
NAFTA was also supposed to usher in a new age of prosperity among the American people as thousands upon thousands of good-paying jobs were to be created through the increase in trade surplus that never quite came to fruition. As you can imagine, just the opposite happened. Each and every year more and more jobs are outsourced to Mexico where labor is incredibly cheap and environmental concerns are a mere afterthought. The raft of jobs outsourced to Mexico forced American workers into direct competition with one another and drove down wages for all.
Now Americans are forced to compete, not only with one another, but also with Mexican workers who are willing to work for much less than the average American. In the U.S., the average factory worker makes roughly $18 per hour while his Mexican counterpart earns just $3 per hour. This has encouraged a “race to the bottom” in which American companies are frequently relocating production facilities across the border. Iconic American companies such as Coca Cola, Ford, RCA, General Motors, General Electric and Nokia have all opened up assembly plants in Mexico. In fact, GE employs 30,000 Mexicans in 35 factories in the country.
This race to the bottom has had a devastating effect on America’s manufacturing base. Pre-NAFTA, the U.S. had 16.8 million people employed in the manufacturing field. By 2014, that number is down to just 12 million. That accounts for over 20 percent of America’s manufacturing jobs over the past 14 years. Those good-paying manufacturing jobs have been replaced by low-paying service sector jobs with little or no benefits.
The failure of NAFTA could not be evidenced more clearly than through the influx of illegal immigrants that have entered the U.S. since 1993. Illegal immigrants in the U.S. have increased to 12 million today from 3.9 million in 1993, accounting for an overall increase of over 300 percent.
H. R. 156
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
January 4, 2013
Mr. McIntyre introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means
To provide for the withdrawal of the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Withdrawal of the United States from the NAFTA
Withdrawal of approval
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the approval of the NAFTA by the Congressprovided for in section 101(a) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act shall cease to be effective beginning on the date that is six months after the date of the enactment of this Act.
Notification of withdrawal
On the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall provide to the Governments of Canada and Mexico written notice of withdrawal of the United States from the NAFTA in accordance with Article 2205 of the NAFTA.
In this section, the term NAFTA means the North American Free Trade Agreement entered into between the United States, Canada, and Mexico on December 17, 1992.