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Boyle Demands Transparency in NAFTA Renegotiation

June 7, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC–  This week, Congressman Boyle (PA-13), a founder and co-chair of the congressional Blue Collar Caucus, led a letter to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to demand transparency during the Trump Administration’s renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). A more transparent renegotiation process would help our nation to avert the damage that unfettered free trade has done to American workers by instead preventing the interests of multinational corporations from taking precedence over our nation’s worker protections, environmental safeguards, and consumer safety laws.
 “Although President Trump promised to defend American workers from the worst aspects of globalization during his campaign, he has instead shown more sympathy for corporate interests since taking office. The renegotiation notice he sent to Congress was alarmingly vague, and inconsistent with the many promises he made in the past. American workers deserve better. As a founder of the Blue Collar Caucus, I will keep fighting for working families and holding the president and his administration accountable for the promises they’ve made to them.”
Congressman Boyle is committed to making NAFTA and all trade deals more fair for American workers and businesses who have been struggling in the global economy, feeling the system is rigged against them. Congressman Boyle is fighting to make sure that our nation’s trade policy serves the best interests of American families by ensuring that we no longer allow American jobs to be offshored without penalty, American tax dollars to be stashed in overseas tax havens, and American laws to be undermined by foreign investors.
The bipartisan letter is signed by Tom MacArthur (NJ-3), Keith Ellison (MN-5), Marcy Kaptur (OH-9), Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Jim McGovern (MA-2), Chellie Pingree (ME-1), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Dan Lipinski (IL-3), Walter Jones (NC-3), Louise Slaughter (NY-25), Betty McCollum (MN-4), Jacky Rosen (NV-3), John Katko (NY-24), and Mark Meadows (NC-11).
 
The text of the letter is as follows:


Dear Secretary Ross,
We are encouraged to see the Trump Administration’s reexamining and possible renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) so that it better promotes American jobs and businesses.  We believe that the success of any renegotiation will be defined by putting working families, American jobs, and healthy communities at the forefront of U.S. trade policy.  In order to achieve this end, we respectfully urge you to have an open and transparent process for the American public during the renegotiation process. 
We have all learned through experience that creating an open, participatory process is the only way that the American public will have confidence in NAFTA renegotiations and other trade agreements moving forward.  The NAFTA renegotiation process, and any other trade negotiation, must be transparent and involve broad stakeholder participation – unlike the opaque and interest group-dominated negotiations that produced NAFTA in the 1990’s.  Prior to the launch of new negotiations, we encourage you to invite the public to help formulate American positions and comment on draft proposals.  We would also encourage negotiated texts be made publicly available during negotiations with opportunity for comment after each negotiating round.
We believe that the public will have more confidence in the trade policy-making process moving forward if business-as-usual tactics are rejected for goal-oriented objectives that provide a fair, open process to ensure that future trade agreements put American jobs, businesses, workers and their families first and foremost.
We look forward to working with you in crafting trade agreements that benefit all Americans, and thank you for your consideration of this request.
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