Mississippi congressman Gene Taylor (D-MS) (2nd R) speaks of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina alongside (L-R) Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS), House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 15, 2005 file photo. (Reuters)
(Reuters) – A small group of U.S. lawmakers unveiled legislation on Thursday to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement in the latest sign of congressional disillusionment with free-trade deals.
The bill spearheaded by Rep. Gene Taylor, a Mississippi Democrat, would require President Barack Obama to give Mexico and Canada six months notice that the United States will no longer be part of the 16-year-old trade pact.
“At a time when 10 to 12 percent of the American people are unemployed, I think Congress has an obligation to put people back to work,” Taylor said.
He argued NAFTA has cost the United States millions of manufacturing jobs and hurt national security by encouraging companies to move production to Mexico.
The high unemployment rate makes it the “perfect” time to push for repeal even though past efforts have failed, he said.