Wednesday, January 1, 2014

NAFTA at 20: An Unhappy Birthday and a Look at the Roll Call Votes on "Free" Trade Deals

On December 8, 1993, when Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) into law, he spoke in glowing terms about its future effects:
I believe we have made a decision now that will permit us to create an economic order in the world that will promote more growth, more equality, better preservation of the environment, and a greater possibility of world peace.
NAFTA took effect just over three weeks later: January 1, 2014. Today is its 20th birthday. Clinton's promises, which were likely just lies to begin with, have not materialized.

Last weekend, Public Citizen released a report on the twenty-year legacy of NAFTA. Public Citizen found that many of the results of NAFTA were the exact opposite of what its boosters had promised. Such results include a $181 billion trade deficit with Mexico and Canada, 1 million net U.S. jobs lost, larger agricultural trade deficits with Mexico and Canada, and more than $360 million paid to corporations through “investor-state” suits attacking domestic policies such as toxics bans, land-use rules, water and forestry policies, and others geared toward environmental protection and the public interests. The report also highlighted how US. companies like Chrysler and Caterpillar, who promised to create specific numbers of jobs upon NAFTA's approvals, quickly fired U.S. workers and relocated to Mexico. NAFTA trade and investment trends, particularly the displacement of manufacturing jobs, have contributed to downward wage pressure and growing inequality.

NAFTA has also had a detrimental effect on Mexican workers as well. The increased export of U.S. subsidized corn destroyed the livelihoods of 1 million Mexican campesino farmers and the roughly 1.4 million workers whose livelihoods depended on such agriculture. The displacement of such workers has created downward wage pressure, and 60% of the rural population in Mexico still falls below the poverty line, despite the promises made by NAFTA's boosters.

Let's take a look back at the vote on NAFTA back in 1993.

NAFTA passed the Senate 61 to 38. Democrats were almost evenly split: 27 YEA, 26 NAY (and 1 not in attendance for the vote). Republicans voted for it by a larger margin: 34 YEA to 12 NAY.

7 of the NAY votes are still in the Senate: 6 D, 1 R.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI)
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)

9 of the YEA votes are still in the Senate: 6 R, 3 D.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Sen. Tom Harkin (R-IA)
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)

8 former Representatives who voted NAY are now in the Senate: 5 D, 2 R, 1 I.
Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

7 former Representatives who voted YEA are now in the Senate: 5 D, 2 R.
Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Ed Markey (D-MA)
Rob Portman (R-OH)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

NAFTA passed the House 234 to 200. House Democrats voted against it 156 to 102. Republicans supported it 132 to 43. The sole Independent—Bernie Sanders—voted against it.

In other words, a Democratic president signed a bill against the wishes of 60% of the House Democratic caucus.

Republican margins in favor of NAFTA were about 3:1 both houses.
30 NAFTA supporters are still in the House: 17 R, 13 D.

The 17 Republicans:
Spencer Bachus (AL-06)
Buck McKeon (CA-25)
Ken Calvert (CA-42)
Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48)
Bill Young (FL-13)
Dave Camp (MI-04)
Fred Upton (MI-06)
Pete King (NY-02)
Howard Coble (NC-06)
John Duncan (TN-02)
Sam Johnson (TX-03)
Joe Barton (TX-06)
Lamar Smith (TX-21)
Bob Goodlatte (VA_06)
Frank Wolf (VA-10)
Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05)
Tom Petri (WI-06)

The 13 Democrats:
Ed Pastor (AZ-07)
Nancy Pelosi (CA-12)
Anna Eshoo (CA-18)
Sam Farr (CA-20)
Xavier Becerra (CA-34)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40)
Alcee Hastings (FL-20)
Steny Hoyer (MD-05)
David Price (NC-04)
Jim Cooper (TN-05)
Eddie Johnson (TX-30)
Jim Moran (VA-08)
Jim McDermott (WA-07)

40 NAFTA opponents are still in the House: 8 Republicans and 32 Democrats.

The 8 Republicans:
Don Young (AK)
Ed Royce (CA-39)
Duncan Hunter (CA-50)
John Mica (FL-07)
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18)
Jack Kingston (GA-01)
Hal Rogers (KY-05)
Chris Smith (NJ-04)

The 32 Democrats:
George Miller (CA-11)
Henry Waxman (CA-33)
Maxine Waters (CA-43)
Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)
Corrinne Brown (FL-05)
Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
John Lewis (GA-05)
Bobby Rush (IL-01)
Luis Gutiérrez (IL-04)
Pete Visclosky (IN-01)
Richard Neal (MA-01)
Sander Levin (MI-09)
John Dingell (MI-12)
John Conyers (MI-13)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Bennie Thompson (MS-02)
Rob Andrews (NJ-01)
Frank Pallone (NJ-06)
Nydia Velázquez (NY-07)
Jerry Nadler (NY-10)
Carolyn Maloney (NY-12)
Charlie Rangel (NY-13)
José Serrano (NY-15)
Eliot Angel (NY-16)
Nita Lowey (NY-17)
Louis Slaughter (NY-25)
Marcy Kaptur (OH-09)
Pete DeFazio (OR-04)
Jim Clyburn (SC-06)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Bobby Scott (VA-03)
Nick Rahall (WV-03)

Like Bill Clinton, Obama has been fully willing to pass "free" trade deals despite majority opposition from his own party in Congress, particularly the House.

The United States Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act passed the House 262 to 167. House Democrats, however, opposed it 158 to 31.

It passed the Senate 66 to 33. However, the members of the Senate Democratic caucus opposed it 31 to 22.

The United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act passed the House 300 to 129. However, House Democrats opposed it 123 to 66.

It passed the Senate 77 to 22. Democratic caucus support was the inverse of what it was for the Colombia deal: 31 to 22 in favor.

The United States-Korea Trade Agreement Implementation Act passed the House 278 to 151. However, House Democrats opposed it 130 to 59.

It passed the Senate 83 to 15. The Democratic caucus supported it 38 to 14.

What we see clearly here is that, although the Senate Democrats can be awful (Surprise!), the so-called "free trade" deals designed that offshore jobs and increase corporate privilege consistently face majority opposition within the House Democratic caucus.

I cross-checked the three roll call votes to find out which Democrats voted against each bill. I though this would be a useful exercise, considering that the TPP and TTIP loom in the future.

84 sitting House Democrats voted against all three bills:

Rob Andrews (NJ-01)
John Barrow (GA-12)
Karen Bass (CA-37)
Timothy Bishop (NY-01)
Bob Brady (PA-01)
Bruce Braley (IA-01)
Corinne Brown (FL-05)
G. K. Butterfield (NC-01)
Lois Capps (CA-24)
Mike Capuano (MA-07)
Andre Carson (IN-07)
Judy Chu (CA-27)
David Cicilline (RI-01)
Yvette Clarke (NY-09)
Lacy Clay (MO-01)
Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05)
Steve Cohen (TN-09)
John Conyers (MI-13)
Joe Courtney (CT-02)
Elijah Cummings (MD-07)
Pete DeFazio (OR-04)
Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)
Ted Deutch (FL-21)
John Dingell (MI-12)
Mike Doyle (PA-14)
Donna Edwards (MD-04)
Keith Ellison (MN-05)
Marcia Fudge (OH-11)
John Garamendi (CA-03)
Al Green (TX-09)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Raul Grijalva (AZ-03)
Luis Gutiérrez (IL-04)
Janice Hahn (CA-44)
Alcee Hastings (FL-20)
Brian Higgins (NY-26)
Rush Holt (NJ-12)
Mike Honda (CA-17)
Steve Israel (NY-03)
Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)
Hank Johnson (GA-04)
Marcy Kaptur (OH-09)
William Keating (MA-09)
Dan Kildee (MI-5)
Jim Langevin (RI-02)
Barbara Lee (CA-13)
John Lewis (GA-05)
Dan Lipinski (IL-03)
David Loebsack (IA-02)
Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)
Ben Luján (NM-03)
Stephen Lynch (MA-08)
Betty McCollum (MN-04)
Jim McGovern (MA-02)
Mike McIntyre (NC-07)
Jerry McNerney (CA-09)
Mike Michaud (ME-02)
George Miller (CA-11)
Gwen Moore (WI-04)
Jerry Nadler (NY-10)
Grace Napolitano (CA-32)
Frank Pallone (NJ-06)
Ed Pastor (AZ-07)
Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)
Gary Peters (MI-09)
Chellie Pingree (ME-01)
Nick Rahall (WV-03)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40)
Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02)
Bobby Rush (IL-01)
Tim Ryan (OH-13)
Linda Sánchez (CA-38)
John Sarbanes (MD-03)
Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)

Jose Serrano (NY-15)
Brad Sherman (CA-30)
Jackie Speier (CA-14)
Bennie Thompson (MS-02)
John Tierney (MA-06)
Paul Tonko (NY-20)
Nydia Velázquez (NY-07)
Peter Visclosky (IN-01)
Maxine Waters (CA-43)
John Yarmuth (KY-03)

Louise Slaughter (NY-25) and Frederica Wilson (FL-24) were not in attendance for any of the votes. Louise Slaughter voted against NAFTA, and I would assume she would have opposed these as well. I can't say either way for Wilson.

12 Democrats in the Senate consistently voted against the so-called “free trade” deals.

Richard Blumenthal (CT)
Sherrod Brown (OH)
Bob Casey (PA)
Kay Hagan (NC)
Tom Harkin (IA)
Joe Manchin (WV)
Jeff Merkley (OR)
Jack Reed (RI)
Harry Reid (NV)
Jay Rockefeller (WV)
Jon Tester (MT)
Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)

Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was not in attendance for the vote Korean “free trade” bill, but he voted against the other two (and NAFTA) and is vocal in his criticism of such trade policy.

Six current Senate Democrats voted against all three bills when they were in the House:

Tammy Baldwin (WI)
Joe Donnelly (IN)
Martin Heinrich (NM)
Mazie Hirono (HI)
Ed Markey (MA)
Chris Murphy (CT)

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