Congressman Dan Kildee: President Trump Should Address Fair Trade Policies in Address to Congress

February 28, 2017

“We Deserve Fair Trade Policies That Put The American Worker First,” Kildee Says

Ahead of President Donald Trump’s joint session address to Congress, Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today joined other Members of Congress, including Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), to discuss what they are looking for from the President on trade.
His remarks, as delivered, are below:

“Thank you, Congresswoman DeLauro, for your leadership, as well as Congressman DeFazio’s leadership, and the others on the call. Tonight we’ll hear from the President his plans to govern, including on the issue of trade. And as we know, during the campaign, he made a big deal out of this. He said he would make trade policy much better for working Americans.

“It’s now time for Congress to hold President Trump at his word. Campaigning is over, it’s time to govern. You cannot govern with 140-character tweets.

“My constituents deserve better than that. We deserve fair trade policies that put the American worker first. I come from Flint, Michigan; we’ve seen the consequences of bad trade deals. NAFTA, and potentially TPP, but NAFTA was devastating to my community. We didn’t lost all of our jobs just because of bad trade deals, but we lost 90 percent of our manufacturing jobs since the passage of that agreement, much attributable to the North American Free Trade Agreement and its provisions that need to be renegotiated.

“I joined with Congresswoman DeLauro and Congressman DeFazio in calling for renegotiation of NAFTA. Eliminating those incentives to send jobs overseas is an important part of any logical trade policy. Strong, enforceable provisions to deal with currency. Especially revising the so-called rules of origins provisions on automobiles. Right now under NAFTA, only 62.5 percent of a vehicle needs to be made in America. That means that more than a third of a vehicle can be made elsewhere, in countries that have no environmental standards. Even the weak standards that Mexico is held to are not adhered to – no labor standards whatsoever. And those vehicles can have a substantial amount of their value treated if they’re made in North America and treated if they’re essentially made in the United States. That’s wrong. It’s not good for the American worker. It’s not good for the American industry. It’s only good for multinational corporations whose profits are hidden offshore. This has to change.

“So I hope tonight we hear President Trump make specific policy proposals. That’s what he promised to do. It’s our job to hold him to those promises.”