Congressman Larry Kissell (NC-08) is calling for the repeal of North American Free Trade Agreement by sponsoring a bill to repeal the trade deal. NAFTA and other trade deals have decimated American manufacturing and had devastating effects on the textile industry in North Carolina's Eighth District.
"I worked in a textile mill for 27 years. I have watched many of my friends and neighbors lose their jobs and their benefits to these unfair trade deals," Kissell said. "I went to Congress to make a difference for working people, and I believe that repealing NAFTA is a start to reenergizing American manufacturing. We have to invest in American manufacturing to put our people back to work."
NAFTA and similar free trade agreements have resulted in a 29 percent drop in U.S. manufacturing employment since 1993.
"While NAFTA and other trade deals were not designed to have such a negative impact on American manufacturing, the results are clear. The American economy is suffering," Kissell said. "It has discouraged investments in U.S. manufacturing facilities and continues to accelerate the erosion of our industrial base."
In 1993 when the U.S. entered into NAFTA, the country had a $1.7 billion trade surplus with Mexico. By 2007, the surplus had turned into an enormous deficit, peaking at $75 billion. With Canada, the trade deficit in 1993 was $11 billion and had grown to $78 billion by 2008.
In 1993, U.S manufacturing employment was responsible for approximately 17 million jobs. By 2009, it had dropped to 12 million workers.