Trade and Manufacturing

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.

Previous trade agreements, like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), have been disastrous for North Carolina manufacturing industries, such as 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.

That is why Congressman McHenry supported President Trump’s efforts to renegotiate and ratify the U.S. – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA), a vast improvement for manufacturing in Western North Carolina. Specifically, the new, stand-alone chapter for textiles and apparel and stronger rules for customs enforcement in the USMCA agreement will benefit the many businesses across the Tenth District involved with the textile industry.

For too long, China has been allowed to take advantage of weak enforcement of US trade law to the detriment of our interests and businesses. Congressman McHenry also supports President Trump’s efforts to crack down on China’s unfair trade practices, including intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers, illegal currency manipulation and dumping of foreign products priced well below fair market value in the US.

In order to combat China and their dominance in the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) market, McHenry introduced H.R. 7841 – The American PPE Supply Chain Integrity Act. This legislation mandates that any PPE bought by the federal government be wholly sourced and made within the United States. This will ensure our PPE supply is not reliant on a geopolitical adversary who has a proven record of cheating on trade.  

Congressman McHenry is also a champion of the Berry Amendment, which mandates that our military procure American made uniforms and textiles which supply our service men and women. 

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.