NAFTA Loses Support in Congress

Washington D.C.

For those keeping score, the House of Representatives in the 105th Congress will contain more members who voted against the North American Free Trade Agreement than those who voted for it.
Even though NAFTA passed by a margin of 234 to 200 in November 1993, retirements and election losses have left 143 members who voted against NAFTA and, with the defeat of Rep. Bob Dornan, the right-wing California Republican who voted for NAFTA, 142 who voted for it.

"Members who voted against NAFTA are no longer the minority in the House of Representatives," said Lori Wallach, Director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. "A sizeable majority of Americans oppose NAFTA expansion despite a massive public relations campaign by its corporate supporters. New members of Congress should carefully consider this powerful public opposition to NAFTA expansion," Wallach said.

A poll released recently by the Bank of Boston shows that a majority (57%) of Americans believe that the United States should not approve new trade agreements with Latin America. "A higher percentage of Americans oppose NAFTA expansion than voted for either Clinton or Dole for president," Wallach said. The poll found that 51% of Americans believe that free trade pacts result in fewer U.S. jobs and 52% say their views toward free trade are less favorable than one year ago.

Of the 143 members who voted for NAFTA, six are among the 91 returning cosponsors of the NAFTA Accountability Act, which applies a "do no further harm" test to NAFTA in order to ensure that conditions remain at least equal to those prior to NAFTA's implementation.

If conditions are found to have deteriorated, NAFTA would be renegotiated or its Congressional authorization would terminate. Further, the Act forbids expansion of NAFTA until Congress received assurances that conditions have not deteriorated under NAFTA.

The NAFTA Accountability Act will be reintroduced early next year.

Home Page

News | Current Issue | Back Issues | Essays | Links

About the Progressive Populist | How to Subscribe | How to Contact Us

Copyright © 1995-1996 The Progressive Populist