Slaughter Statement on the Trump Administration’s Move to Renegotiate NAFTA
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) released the following statement in reaction to the Trump Administration sending Congress a notification letter today that it plans to start negotiations with Canada and Mexico to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As ranking member of the House Committee on Rules, Slaughter serves as a member of the House Advisory Group on Negotiations (HAGON). The HAGON group is required by statute to be consulted with prior to and during negotiations of trade agreements. Slaughter participated in a HAGON meeting the day before the NAFTA notice was made and expressed her concerns directly to USTR Ambassador Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
“I voted against NAFTA because I couldn’t see it providing any benefits to American workers. Sadly, Rochester has lost half of its manufacturing jobs since this trade deal went into effect. It has been a bad deal for our manufacturers, small businesses nationwide have been forced to close their doors, and our trade deficit has grown out of control. All the while, a special provision in this trade deal has allowed multinational corporations to challenge U.S. laws they don’t like outside of the standard judicial system, endangering laws on everything from clean drinking water standards to raising a state’s minimum wage. President Trump now has an obligation to ensure his rhetoric on trade is more than just empty promises. His letter today is short on specifics, which is why I will continue fighting to make sure this administration is serious about crafting a free trade agreement that is finally fair to our workers. As I told Secretary Ross and Ambassador Lighthizer yesterday, it is time for an entirely new course in our nation’s trade policy. That includes not only rewriting NAFTA, but also enacting my bill, the Trade Enforcement and Trade Deficit Reduction Act, to change how we approach international trade.”