WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) today joined AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and House colleagues to call on President-Elect Donald Trump to live up to his campaign promises and begin renegotiating NAFTA within his first 100 days of taking office, as he pledged during his campaign.
“For too long, trade agreements like NAFTA have failed to level the playing field for American workers, reducing wages and costing hardworking families in Michigan and across the country the opportunity to earn a decent living,” Dingell said. “Donald Trump said during his campaign that he wanted to renegotiate this failed trade agreement, and I said for almost two years that his message on trade was resonating.
“What I hope now is that President-Elect Trump will make this issue a priority in his first 100 days in office and work with Congress on a new approach to trade that will create jobs, grow wages and put American workers first. It is important to note that Canada and Mexico have agreed that NAFTA needs to be revisited and modernized. This should be done on a bipartisan basis and we are here and ready to work with him.
“I am a car girl and proud of it. Our industry has been badly hurt by NAFTA, which has cost us a million jobs across the country. Today 40 percent of a car can be made in China or elsewhere around the world and still count as being made in North America. We must strengthen rules of origin for automobiles and auto parts by closing loopholes that encourage job growth in Asia and create new incentives to increase production in North America.
“We also need strong, enforceable protections against currency manipulation, the mother of all trade barriers. Over the last decades currency manipulation has cost five million American jobs. We need our government to fight for companies in the global marketplace the same way other countries do. This threat must be addressed.
“Today, we call on President-Elect Trump to stand up for the working men and women who keep this country going. We stand ready to work together at the federal, state and local levels to make the U.S. the most attractive place in the world for manufacturing investment.”
The statement came shortly after Ford Motor Co. announced it cancelled its plans to build a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico, and will invest $700 into its Flat Rock Assembly Plant and add 700 jobs there. The plant will begin producing electric and autonomous vehicles by 2021.
“It is a great day for manufacturing in Michigan and the United States with Ford’s announcement that its highest-tech vehicles will continue to be built right here in the U.S.,” Dingell said. “Our challenge now is to continue to do everything we can – together – to keep Michigan at the forefront of innovation and technology and keep manufacturing in the United States.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates what can happen when we do work together at the federal, state and local levels with workers and manufacturers to keep jobs in the U.S. This announcement also shows that the American auto industry continues to lead the way in many areas that will define the future of mobility, including autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles.
“Michigan’s auto workers are the best in the world, and Ford’s announcement today of a $700 million investment in the Flat Rock Assembly Plant that creates 700 new jobs illustrates their confidence in the U.S. workforce. This investment will ensure that Ford’s fully autonomous commercial vehicles will be produced right here in the United States, resulting in good paying American jobs and ensuring America continues to be on the cutting edge of these potentially life-saving technologies. This is a great way to start the New Year.”