Few issues are more important to Western North Carolina than U.S. trade policy. International trade must be fair: When a foreign country’s industries export goods to the United States, we must require that they allow our American industries to have access to their markets. Otherwise, the only thing we ship overseas are American jobs.
That is why Congressman McHenry voted against the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). As a freshman Member of Congress at the time, Patrick McHenry withstood tremendous pressure from his party and corporate lobbyists to vote against CAFTA. He was one of only 27 Republicans to do so.
CAFTA and previous trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have been disastrous for North Carolina manufacturing industries like textiles and furniture. When NAFTA went into effect in 1994, the hope was that new markets for American products would be opened in Mexico and that increased trade would benefit both countries. Instead, many Mexican markets remained closed and cheap Mexican labor stole American jobs. North Carolina was hit harder than any state, losing over 200,000 jobs and counting.
In the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, Congressman McHenry has worked tirelessly with North Carolina’s textile, furniture, and other manufacturers and the United States Trade Representative to ensure that they receive fair treatment. If TPP puts Western North Carolina industry and workers at a disadvantage, Congressman McHenry will not support it.He has been a tireless supporter of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which helps workers who lose their jobs to trade get back on their feet.