President Clinton betrayed working Americans when he signed NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement 25 years ago. Now, Democrats are now prepared to betray Americans again by refusing to approve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that repeals and replaces the job-killing NAFTA deal.
The USMCA remains in limbo because Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refuses to give it a fair vote. Rather than deliver a big win for the American people, Pelosi wants to play partisan politics. Now more than ever we must stand behind our president and pressure Congress to give the USMCA a vote.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that President Trump was able to deliver a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada so quickly. Promising to our fix bad trade agreements was a key campaign commitment for then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016. Nowhere was this better illustrated than his repeated promise to replace the disastrous North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) penned by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
“NAFTA is the single worst trade deal ever approved in this country,” Trump noted to Hilary Clinton during a back-in-forth in a September 2016 debate. You don’t even have to take the president’s word for it: the numbers alone speak volumes.
More than 700,000 jobs were lost as a result of NAFTA according to the Economic Policy Institute. These job losses weren’t spread out across the country, but hit the hardest in states where manufacturing was concentrated, such as Michigan.
Manufacturing facilities that once powered cities like Detroit and Youngstown moved down south over the border. Tens of thousands of American factories were forced to close their doors. Communities were ravaged. It’s no coincidence that many of these same communities are now ground zero for the opioid epidemic.
The political class and ‘experts’ have tried to paint these damning statistics as irrelevant. They don’t seem to care or recognize that when a factory door closes a community can close with it. 700,000 isn’t just some number on a spreadsheet, it represents 700,000 hardworking Americans who no longer have the means to provide for their families.
It was these forgotten men and women in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Ohio who helped propel Donald Trump to the presidency. They recognized that when President Trump promised to fix our trade deals, he would deliver. And that’s exactly what he did by signing the USMCA.
To start, the USMCA is bringing back tens of thousands of those manufacturing jobs that were “never coming back.” New updates to the rules of origin will now require 75 percent of automotive content to be made in North America, a significant increase from 62.5 percent under NAFTA. That means more automotive parts being made in the United States rather than economic competitors like China.
Increased production in the United States means more jobs. According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the USMCA is expected to create approximately 76,000 new automotive jobs in the first five years. Those are well-paying jobs for working-class people.
Moreover, billions of dollars in manufacturing investment are expected to come back to American shores. An estimated $34 billion in new automotive manufacturing investment and $23 billion in new automotive purchases will be realized over a five-year span.
Our farmers and agriculture workers came out ahead too. Food and agriculture exports are expected to increase by $2.2 billion, thanks to the elimination of trade barriers on American dairy and poultry goods.
Excessive red tape that put American small businesses at a disadvantage when trying to export goods has been cut. Better yet, important updates to labor and environmental rules and protections for intellectual property were also included in the final agreement.
This historic new trade deal is expected to push the already booming Trump economy into overdrive. GDP is expected to increase by $68.2 billion from the agreement and a total of 176,000 jobs will be created once the USMCA is passed. Exports to Canada and Mexico are expected to increase by $19.1 billion and $14.2 billion respectively.
With so much to be gained for the USMCA, it is clear that President Trump delivered on his promise to the American worker. Manufacturing is coming back, and we’ll be making stuff in America again. But first the USMCA needs to pass Congress and Nancy Pelosi is standing in the way. So, call your member of Congress and tell them to pass the USMCA now.
American workers and businesses can’t wait any longer.
Kimberly Guilfoyle (@KimGuilfoyle) is vice chairwoman of America First Policies, a nonprofit organization supporting key policy initiatives that will work for all citizens in our country and put America first.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.