Michigan Democratic Party chairman questions NAFTA statement by Republican Tim Walberg
At the meeting in Jackson Wednesday night, Walberg was asked if he thought NAFTA and CAFTA were still good for the national economy. He responded by saying, “It’s been proven that it’s supplied more jobs of equal or better pay to our country over the course of time."
He later stated that jobs are “coming back” under NAFTA.
"What planet is Tim Walberg living on?" Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer responded in a statement today. "Michigan has lost countless jobs due to unfair trade, and if Tim Walberg thinks we've actually gained jobs under NAFTA, it's clear he doesn't have a clue about how to get our economy back on track."
Walberg's campaign didn't immediately respond to a request by AnnArbor.com for comment on Brewer's statement today.
Brewer cited a report from the Economic Policy Institute that shows 1 million American jobs were lost in all 50 states in the first 13 years after NAFTA was signed into law. Michigan lost 63,148 jobs directly due to NAFTA between 1993-2006, the most in the nation, according to the report.
Walberg will compete in a rematch in November against Democratic Congressman Mark Schauer for Michigan's 7th Congressional District seat. Walberg, considered both a social and economic conservative, lost his seat to Schauer in 2008. The 7th District includes parts of Washtenaw County (see map).
A recent poll conducted by the conservative think tank American Action Forum showed Walberg leading Schauer by 10 points: 50 percent to 40 percent. A Schauer campaign spokesman said the poll was inaccurate because it didn't include third-party candidates.
Below is the complete video with Walberg's remarks about NAFTA.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529.