Dingell expresses qualified support for tentative trade agreement

Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 3:43pm

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., released a statement Tuesday in response to the modified North American Free Trade Agreement, now revamped to be the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., released a statement Tuesday in response to the modified North American Free Trade Agreement, now revamped to be the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Buy this photo
Alexis Rankin/Daily

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., released a statement Tuesday in response to the modified North American Free Trade Agreement, now revamped to be the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, after the agreement was announced by the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. 

In her statement, Dingell said the agreement brings “cautious optimism” and pledges to support it as long as it leads to increased opportunities and higher wages for Michigan workers. 

“We have a moral responsibility to help our workers,” Dingell wrote. “If this new deal levels the playing field, creates jobs, raises wages, brings manufacturing back to this country, and fosters innovation and technology — it will earn my vote.”

On Tuesday, Pelosi announced that House Democrats agreed upon a deal with the Trump administration to replace the current North American Free Trade Agreement, which eliminates trade tariff barriers between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Voting on the new agreement, known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, is planned to take place later this month. 

Dingell also expressed concern that the new agreement would not fix some of the problems that arose with NAFTA, including the decline in manufacturing and employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the introduction of NAFTA coincided with a roughly 30 percent drop in manufacturing in the U.S. between 1993 and 2019. 

“Every day, I see and hear about what trade agreements like NAFTA 1.0 did to American workers,” Dingell wrote. “Today, factories sit empty in Michigan and across my district while workers are unable to compete with sub-par, non-union workers in other countries.”