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Text of the NAFTA Accountability Act

This bill was introduced on June 22, 2011, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jun 22, 2011 (Introduced).

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Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2287

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 22, 2011

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means

A BILL

To assess the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement (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.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the NAFTA Accountability Act.

2.

Findings

The Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

Rising deficits in united states trade accounts

One of the purposes of the North American Free Trade Agreement (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 United States trade deficit with Mexico and Canada that exceeded $93,000,000,000 in 2010, and more than $1,300,000,000,000 since the agreement’s inception. Rather than continuous development and expansion as envisioned and growing trade surpluses for the United States, the NAFTA has resulted in United States job losses and escalating trade deficits.

(2)

Erosion of the united states 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 and accelerated the outsourcing of United States manufacturing facilities and jobs to lower-wage Mexico. Conservatively, NAFTA has led to nearly 1,000,000 American job losses. Conversely, Mexico has become an export platform displacing United States production. An unprecedented flood of imports of manufactured and agricultural goods now enter the United States. Further, Mexico has experienced an outsourcing of productivity to even lower-wage China, as Chinese imports to Mexico have grown and are imported into the United States.

(3)

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.

(4)

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, health and environmental conditions, agricultural provisions, systems of justice, and illegal immigration. If the NAFTA is to continue, Congress must require certification of specific measures of economic, social, legal, and environmental progress. Otherwise Congress has no choice but to withdraw its approval of the NAFTA.

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 (19 U.S.C. 3311(a)) shall cease to be effective beginning on the date that is 365 days after the date of the enactment of this Act; and

(B)

not later than 200 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, 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 met if, not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act—

(A)

the President—

(i)

renegotiates the terms of the NAFTA in accordance with paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (b); and

(ii)

provides the certification to the Congress described in subsection (b)(8);

(B)

the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Agriculture provide the certification described in subsection (b)(4);

(C)

the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Agriculture 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 submits the certification described in subsection (b)(6)(B); and

(F)

the Attorney General of the United States provides 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 and balance 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—

(A)

exceeds 10 percent of United States exports to that Party; or

(B)

equals or exceeds $500,000,000 for 3 or more consecutive years.

(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 establish and strengthen provisions to prevent imports of agricultural commodities from any NAFTA Party from unfairly displacing United States production, to provide improved mechanisms for relief for United States producers that are adversely impacted by such imports, and to address the serious and growing problem of Mexico’s displaced ejido peasant farmers and crime associated with lawlessness in the United States–Mexico border zone.

(4)

Certification of gains in united states jobs and living standards

If the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Agriculture, after consultation with appropriate government agencies and citizen organizations, determine that—

(A)

the number of jobs resulting from increased exports of United States goods and services to other NAFTA Parties exceeds the number of jobs lost because of imports of goods and services 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 Secretaries shall so certify to the Congress.
(5)

Certification of increased domestic manufacturing

If the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Agriculture, after consultation with the appropriate government agencies and citizen organizations, determine that the export of United States manufactured and agricultural goods to the NAFTA Parties exceeds the imports of manufactured and agricultural goods from the NAFTA Parties, the Secretaries shall so certify to the Congress. In making the determination, the Secretaries 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.

(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.

(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 crime with illegal drugs or other controlled substances from Mexico or Canada, the Attorney General shall so certify to the Congress.

(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;

(D)

protects the rights of its citizens to assemble and to organize associations to advance human rights and economic opportunities; and

(E)

receives fair and impartial litigation of suits and trials according to the rule of law in a transparent justice system,

the President shall so certify to the Congress.
4.

Sense of Congress that NAFTA not be expanded

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 trade promotion authority should not be renewed with respect to the approval of any such expansion of the NAFTA.

5.

Definitions

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.