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Congresswoman Seeks to Revamp NAFTA

January 2008

In a promising development for North American workers, U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur, Democrat of Ohio, recently introduced legislation that would require the U.S. to renegotiate NAFTA. The goal of the legislation is to address the environmental harm, decrease in jobs and wages, and other social and economic problems caused by the failed trade agreement.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Accountability Act (H.R. 4329) would require the Executive Branch of the U.S. government to certify that certain benchmarks have been met by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico (the countries covered under the agreement). Such benchmarks include increased U.S. domestic manufacturing, stronger health and environmental standards, and the guarantee of Mexican democracy.

The legislation requires America to withdraw from the agreement if these benchmarks are not met.

In a prepared statement, Rep. Nancy Boyda, Democrat of Kansas and a co-sponsor of the bill, said, “NAFTA is dragging down our economy, weakening our borders, and devastating our manufacturers. After 14 years, it’s time to either fix NAFTA or get the heck out of it.”

Grassroots International will monitor the progress of this bill, which is especially important in the light of recent free trade agreements made between the U.S. and individual countries.

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