WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) penned an op-ed for USA Today ahead of the first round of NAFTA renegotiation tomorrow calling for a reset that puts workers ahead of corporations and guards against outsourcing.
In May, Brown sent a four-point plan for NAFTA renegotiation to President Trump. His four-point NAFTA plan builds on Brown’s efforts to work with President Trump to fulfill the President’s campaign promises on trade.
Immediately after President Trump’s election, Brown reached out to his transition team to offer his help on retooling U.S. trade policy. Brown wrote to Trump in November offering specific steps to work together on trade and Trump responded with a handwritten note. Brown opposed NAFTA when it was first passed. He now sits on the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over trade agreements.
Corporations wrote NAFTA to aid and abet a business model that exploits workers and hollows out communities. We now have a chance for a reset.
By Sherrod Brown
The corporate lobbyists flew in from all over the country. An official at Washington National Airport said there were more corporate planes on the runway than he’d ever seen. Merrill Lynch took out a full page ad in Roll Call. Major corporations sent giant gift baskets to congressional offices.
What was the occasion? Tax reform? No— it was 1993,and we were in the throes of the fight to stop the North American Free Trade Agreement.
American corporate leaders had come up with a new business model: shut down production in Toledo or Dayton, grab a tax break for the road, ship their production to Reynosa, Mexico or Wuhan, China, and then sell their products back to the United States.
These corporations and their flacks in Congress wrote NAFTA — and every trade agreement since then — to aid and abet this business model that exploits workers and hollows out entire communities.
These agreements are written behind closed doors by corporate lobbyists, while American workers are locked out. That’s how we end up with trade agreement after trade agreement that props up this business model and sells out workers.
This week, we have a chance for a reset …
Read the complete op-ed HERE.