H.R.2651 - NAFTA Accountability Act104th Congress (1995-1996)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Kaptur, Marcy [D-OH-9] (Introduced 11/16/1995)|
|Committees:||House - Ways and Means|
|Latest Action:||House - 11/21/1995 Referred to the Subcommittee on Trade. (All Actions)|
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Text: H.R.2651 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)
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Introduced in House (11/16/1995)
[Congressional Bills 104th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 2651 Introduced in House (IH)] 104th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 2651 To assess the impact of the NAFTA, to require further negotiation of certain provisions of the NAFTA, and to provide for the withdrawal from the NAFTA unless certain conditions are met. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES November 16, 1995 Ms. Kaptur (for herself, Mr. Hunter, Mr. DeFazio, Mrs. Chenoweth, Mr. Sanders, Mr. Traficant, Mr. Lipinski, Mr. Obey, Mr. Pallone, Ms. Velazquez, Mr. Brown of Ohio, Mr. Evans, Mr. Dellums, Mr. Funderburk, Mr. Klink, Mr. Barcia of Michigan, Ms. McKinney, Mr. Hinchey, Mr. Stokes, Mr. Barr, Mr. Wamp, Mrs. Mink of Hawaii, and Mr. Conyers) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To assess the impact of the NAFTA, to require further negotiation of certain provisions of the NAFTA, and to provide for the withdrawal from the NAFTA unless certain conditions are met. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``NAFTA Accountability Act''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. The Congress makes the following findings: (1) Expanded markets.--One of the purposes of the NAFTA, as stated in the preamble, is to ``create an expanded and secure market'' for goods and services. Instead, the NAFTA has resulted in a spiraling trade deficit with Mexico and Canada that will exceed $30,000,000,000 in 1995. Rather than harmonious development and expansion as envisioned, the NAFTA has resulted in trade deficits which are draining $2,500,000,000 a month from the United States economy. (2) Currency stability.--One of the purposes of the NAFTA is to ``ensure a predictable commercial framework for business planning and investment''. However, the NAFTA contains no safeguards to minimize the negative economic impacts of severe shifts in currency exchange rates among the NAFTA Parties. To protect its own economy the United States has sought to bolster the Mexican peso which is now being supported by $30,000,000,000 in loans, mostly from unwilling United States taxpayers. The devaluation of the Mexican peso has more than offset tariff reductions and other trade benefits the United States expected to achieve from the agreement. (3) Fair agricultural trade.--One of the purposes of the NAFTA is to reduce distortions to trade. In addition, the NAFTA is supposed to promote conditions of fair competition and to establish mutually advantageous rules governing trade. However, since the NAFTA, there has been a rapid escalation of one-way trade of Canadian grain exports of wheat, durum wheat, and barley to the United States, disrupting markets and marketing channels. Surges in the importation of certain Mexican fruits and vegetables threaten domestic production and the importation of livestock and meat products from the NAFTA Parties has exacerbated the severe problems facing United States livestock producers. (4) Jobs, wages, and living standards.--One of the purposes of the NAFTA is to ``create new employment opportunities and improve working conditions and living standards'' in the respective territories of the NAFTA Parties. Instead, there has been a substantial loss of over 300,000 high-paying jobs in the United States. A survey of United States companies conducted 20 months after the implementation of the NAFTA found that 90 percent of the companies that had anticipated an increased number of jobs from the NAFTA have, in fact, not increased employment since the NAFTA was implemented. In the first year of the NAFTA's implementation, United States workers had the sharpest drop of real hourly wages on record. More than 2,000,000 workers have become unemployed in Mexico since the implementation of the NAFTA and real wages of Mexican workers have been slashed 50 percent. In addition to the loss of purchasing power, there has been an erosion in the standards of living in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. (5) Manufacturing base.--One of the purposes of the NAFTA is to enhance the competitiveness of firms in the global market. However, rather than increase the ability of the manufacturing sector in the United States to compete in the world market, the NAFTA has facilitated the movement of United States manufacturing facilities and jobs to Mexico. The NAFTA has contributed to a net loss of 227,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States during the last 7 months and an unprecedented flood of imports of manufactured goods into the United States. (6) Health and environment.--Other purposes of the NAFTA are ``to safeguard the public welfare'' and ``to strengthen the development and enforcement of environmental laws and regulations''. Yet, since the implementation of the NAFTA, the public welfare has been undermined by increased imports of food products that do not meet United States health standards. In addition, the NAFTA has accelerated the relocation of United States manufacturing facilities to the United States-Mexico border zone, where hundreds of new manufacturing plants have been added. Without adequate environmental safeguards, the uncontrolled industrial and population growth in the border zone has aggravated pollution and health hazards, increasing the incidence of infectious diseases and human exposure to toxins. (7) Illegal drugs.--Rather than safeguarding the public welfare, the NAFTA has allowed the increased flow of illegal drugs and controlled substances into the United States from Mexico. More than half of all cocaine and marijuana illegally entering the United States now comes through Mexico, with an increasing portion carried by trucks which undergo more limited inspection under the NAFTA. (8) Protect rights.--The promotion of sustainable development as well as the protection and enhancement of basic rights are stated objectives of the NAFTA. As envisioned, the NAFTA is to increase economic opportunity together with expansion of political freedoms and human rights. Yet these objectives are not being fulfilled, especially in Mexico, where some citizens continue to experience infringements of such rights and freedoms. (9) NAFTA should not be expanded.--The Congress approved the NAFTA in order to achieve economic, social, and environmental benefits for the people of the United States. Based on currently available information, the goals and objectives of the NAFTA are not being achieved. Therefore, the NAFTA should not be expanded to include any other country. (10) NAFTA to be renegotiated and benefits certified.-- Based on the experience with the NAFTA since its implementation, it has become evident that further negotiation is required to resolve fundamental inadequacies within the NAFTA with respect to trade balances, currency differentials, and agricultural provisions. If the NAFTA is to continue, responsible public officials must be able to certify specific measures of economic, social, and environmental progress. Otherwise Congress has no choice but to withdraw its approval of the NAFTA. SEC. 3. CONDITIONS FOR CONTINUED PARTICIPATION IN THE NAFTA. (a) In General.-- (1) Withdrawal of approval.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, unless each of the conditions described in paragraph (2) is met-- (A) the approval of the NAFTA by the Congress provided for in section 101(a) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act shall cease to be effective on October 1, 1997, and (B) not later than April 1, 1997, the President shall provide written notice of withdrawal to the Governments of Canada and Mexico in accordance with Article 2205 of the NAFTA. (2) Conditions for continuing participation in nafta.--The conditions described in this paragraph are that before December 31, 1996-- (A) the President-- (i) renegotiate the terms of the NAFTA in accordance with paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (b), and (ii) provide the certification to the Congress described in subsection (b)(8), (B) the Secretary of Labor provide the certification described in subsection (b)(4), (C) the Secretary of Commerce provide the certification described in subsection (b)(5), (D) the Secretary of Agriculture and the Administrator of the Food and Drug Administration provide the certification described in subsection (b)(6)(A), (E) the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency submit the certification and report described in subsection (b)(6)(B), and (F) the Attorney General of the United States provide the certification described in subsection (b)(7). (b) Areas of Renegotiation and Certification.--The areas of renegotiation and certification described in this subsection are as follows: (1) Renegotiate the nafta to correct trade deficits.--The President is authorized and directed to confer with the Governments of Canada and Mexico and to renegotiate the terms of the NAFTA to provide for implementation of emergency adjustments of tariffs, quotas, and other measures to stabilize the flow of trade among the NAFTA Parties when the United States has an annual deficit in trade of goods and services with another NAFTA Party that exceeds 10 percent of United States exports to that Party. (2) Renegotiate the nafta to correct currency distortions.--The President is authorized and directed to confer with the Governments of Canada and Mexico and to renegotiate the terms of the NAFTA to provide for the implementation of emergency adjustments of tariffs, quotas, and other measures to mitigate the adverse effects of rapid or substantial changes in exchange rates between the United States dollar and the currency of another NAFTA Party. (3) Renegotiate the nafta to correct agricultural provisions.--The President is authorized and directed to confer with the Governments of Canada and Mexico and to renegotiate the terms of the NAFTA to provide for the implementation of emergency tariffs, quotas, and other measures to bring the levels of wheat, durum wheat, and barley imported from Canada to levels that are comparable to the levels of these products imported during the 10-year period before the date the NAFTA entered into force with respect to the United States. The President is further authorized and directed to renegotiate the NAFTA to establish and strengthen provisions to prevent imports of agricultural commodities from any NAFTA Party from unfairly displacing United States production and to provide improved mechanisms for relief for United States producers that are adversely impacted by such imports. (4) Certification of gains in united states jobs and living standards.--If the Secretary of Labor, after consultation with appropriate government agencies and citizen organizations, determines that-- (A) the number of jobs resulting from increased exports of United States manufactured goods to other NAFTA Parties exceeds the number of jobs lost because of imports of manufactured goods from other NAFTA Parties since January 1, 1994, and (B) the purchasing power of wage-earners in the United States has increased since January 1, 1994, the Secretary shall so certify to the Congress. (5) Certification of increased domestic manufacturing.--If the Secretary of Commerce, after consultation with the appropriate government agencies and citizen organizations, determines that the export of United States manufactured goods to the NAFTA Parties exceeds the imports of manufactured goods from NAFTA Parties, the Secretary shall so certify to the Congress. In making the determination, the Secretary shall not include any goods originating outside the United States that are exported to another NAFTA Party, nor imports from another NAFTA Party that are destined for other countries. (6) Certification relating to health and environmental standards.-- (A) In general.--If the Secretary of Agriculture and the Administrator of the Food and Drug Administration, after consultation with appropriate government agencies and citizen organizations, determine, with respect to imports from NAFTA Parties, that since January 1, 1994, there has been a reduced incidence of contaminated and adulterated food, food containing additives or pesticide residues exceeding United States standards, or food containing additives or pesticide residues which cannot be legally used in the United States, the Secretary and Administrator shall so certify to the Congress. In making this determination, all foods and food products, including fruits, vegetables, grains, oilseeds, and meats, both fresh and processed, shall be reviewed. Special attention shall be given to foods which have had a history of violations. (B) Border area pollution.--If the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency determines that conditions affecting public health in the United States-Mexico border zone have not worsened since January 1, 1994, the Administrator shall so certify to the Congress. In addition, the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretariat for the NAFTA Commission on Environmental Cooperation, shall report to the Congress on the outcomes of the Administration's investigations on pollution and health hazards in and around the United States-Mexico border zone since the implementation of the NAFTA. The report shall include-- (i) a description and status report of all industrial site cleanup and environmental improvement projects begun in the border zone since January 1, 1994; (ii) information available from local, State, and Federal health agencies reflecting the incidence since January 1, 1990, in and around the border zone of hepatitis, neural stem birth defects, lupus, chronic adolescent diarrhea, tuberculosis, nonneural birth defects, cholera, botulism, and other disorders commonly related to industrial pollution, inadequate infrastructures, and hazardous waste; and (iii) information on the incidence of air and water pollution since January 1, 1990, and the causes, levels, and types of pollution which have occurred. (7) Certification relating to illegal drugs.--If the Attorney General of the United States determines, after a review by the Drug Enforcement Administration and consultation with appropriate government agencies and citizen organizations, that increased imports from the NAFTA Parties are not resulting in an increase in illegal drugs or other controlled substances from Mexico or Canada, the Attorney General shall so certify to the Congress. The Attorney General through the Drug Enforcement Administration shall conduct a thorough review and report to the Congress regarding the flow of illegal drugs from Mexico and Canada and the relationship of such flow to trade of other commodities and services with the NAFTA Parties. (8) Certification relating to democracy and human freedoms.--If the President, after consultation with appropriate government agencies, international organizations, and citizen organizations, determines that the Government of Mexico-- (A) is elected in free and fair elections, (B) protects the rights of its citizens to organize into political parties, (C) protects the rights of its citizens to free speech and the right of the news media to operate without fear of government control or reprisal, and (D) protects the rights of its citizens to assemble and to organize associations to advance human rights and economic opportunities, the President shall so certify to the Congress. SEC. 4. CONSULTATION WITH CONGRESS. The President shall consult regularly with the Congress regarding the negotiations described in section 3(b) (1), (2), and (3). The United States Trade Representative shall consult with the appropriate committees of Congress in the development of any technical and conforming amendments that may be required to carry out the provisions of this Act. SEC. 5. NO EXPANSION OF NAFTA. Until such time as the conditions described in section 3(b) are met, it is the sense of the Congress that the President should not engage in negotiations to expand the NAFTA to include other countries and that fast-track authority should not be renewed with respect to the approval of any such expansion of the NAFTA. SEC. 6. DEFINITIONS. As used in this Act: (1) NAFTA.--The term ``NAFTA'' means the North American Free Trade Agreement entered into between the United States, Canada, and Mexico on December 17, 1992. (2) NAFTA party.--The term ``NAFTA Party'' means the United States, Canada, or Mexico. (3) United States-Mexico border zone.--The term ``United States-Mexico border zone'' means the area that comprises the 12-mile zone on the Mexican side of the United States-Mexico border and the counties within any State of the United States that are contiguous with Mexico. <all>