During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly charged that NAFTA had led to the loss of millions of American manufacturing jobs. His administration joined with Mexico and Canada late last year to agree on a new trade pact.
The agreement, however, has run into intense opposition from congressional Democrats who contend it still lacks tough labor and environmental standards on Mexico.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, a longtime NAFTA critic, said he wants “to see us pass a new NAFTA that makes life better for Ohio workers. We’ve made a lot of progress,” but insisted the No. 1 priority “has to be stopping Ohio jobs from moving overseas and we can’t do that without strong tools to enforce labor standards.”
NAFTA essentially unified the North American automotive market and made it easier for Ohio to export goods to Mexico and Canada.
The Ohio Department of Development reported that last year, Ohio companies and farmers exported a record $54 billion worth of products, with nearly 39 percent of those goods going to Canada and 12.6 percent to Mexico, which is now the state’s third-largest trading partner.