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Posted on Thu, Sep 2, 2010 : 5:30 p.m.

Michigan Democratic Party chairman questions NAFTA statement by Republican Tim Walberg

By Ryan J. Stanton

The Michigan Democratic Party went on the attack today, criticizing former Republican Congressman Tim Walberg for statements made about NAFTA at a campaign meeting.

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 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 Reach him at or 734-623-2529.



Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 9:29 p.m.

Couple elections ago, the Republicans spent a lot of money to defeat Joe Schwarz in favor of a partisan hack like Wahlberg. I hope that voters turn out to defeat Walberg.

David Cahill

Sun, Sep 5, 2010 : 10:23 a.m.

Today's New York Times has an analysis of dozens of congressional races. The Schauer-Walberg race is rated "tossup".

Ann English

Fri, Sep 3, 2010 : 6:54 p.m.

More teenagers would get jobs if employers were free to pay them what they actually earn, unencumbered by Minimum Wage laws. I remember following the NAFTA legislation, seeing who was being bribed to vote yes. Proponents of the law went after Republicans to vote yes, and only one Democrat among those representatives in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota voted yes. There will be a middle class only as long as the number of private sector workers stays bigger than the public sector worker number.

Ann English

Fri, Sep 3, 2010 : 6:42 p.m.

"Unfair trade" led to job losses in Michigan? How about all the labor union leaders' interference with free enterprise? We don't need protectionism, we need to become a right-to-work state. That's where the auto companies are thriving, in the South where everybody is free to be their best, not pressured to do mediocre work for artificially high wages. The employees, as private citizens, can handle their own retirement accounts more effectively than any union can "indefinitely" draw from other sources of money for paying current retirees.


Fri, Sep 3, 2010 : 9:51 a.m.

@Edward, So you think it was a coincidence that our politicians rescinded the Glass-Steagall Act that lead to the financial collapse? You think it was a mistake that Alan Greenspan was encouraging people to get into adjustable rate mortgages a few year before the housing market imploded? Do you think it was a mistake that the major rating agencies rated junk mortgage backed securities AAA so it could be sold to pension funds, banks and investors? You need to do your homework and actually get information outside of the controlled MSMs. Take a few minutes and listen to William Black on YouTube. Do you even know who William Black is? Stop drinking the government and MSM kool-Aid.


Fri, Sep 3, 2010 : 9:44 a.m.

ED: Please no revisionist history here. Clinton did not have his arm twisted. That is fantasy on your part.


Thu, Sep 2, 2010 : 11:17 p.m.

@Mikey2u, Please read what I said. BOTH Repubs and Dems are in on the scam. The left-right paradigm is an illusion. They (Dems and Repubs) are one and the same. We have a one party system pretending to be two separate and opposing parties to fool the masses into believing they have representation. You have NO representation. Our politicians do not give a damn about you. Both the leaderships in the Dem and Repub parties WANT NAFTA and CAFTA to purposely destroy this country. Because that is what their masters want. Obama is the puppet of the bankers. Look at who his top advisors are. All Goldman Sachs. The same criminals that started and nurtured the whole financial collapse.


Thu, Sep 2, 2010 : 9:56 p.m.

All the republicans posting on this article are saying a Republican is okay to defend NAFTA because it was the democrats that voted NAFTA into law. This is too funny.


Thu, Sep 2, 2010 : 8:35 p.m.

Ian nails this one. NAFTA was passed by a Dem Congress after an intense lobbying effort by a Dem President. In Canada, the Liberals were in power as well when it was signed into law. NAFTA only formalized what was already happening. For instance, I got a front-row seat to GM's Delco Electronics division as it moved manufacturing to Mexico from Indiana. NAFTA, then, is more an exercise in making a bad situation a bit more organized. If nothing else, there are thousands who went to school on NAFTA money (and many of those were Dem union members). But, the first casualty of politics is truth, right?


Thu, Sep 2, 2010 : 8:08 p.m.

This is why I can't get behind the republicans. I can't believe Mr Walberg defended NAFTA and wants Michigan to become a "Right to Work State." Michigan needs someone that will look out for the Middle Class. Creating a few minimum wage jobs will not do much for Michigan.


Thu, Sep 2, 2010 : 7:47 p.m.

Unfortunately, Bill Clinton was the president that signed the NAFTA bill into law. With Al Gore (Mr. global warming scammer) as his cheerleader, promising it will be good for the U.S. economy. If people do not get it, both the Democratic and Republican leaderships have been bought and paid for, and they have been, and are in the process of de-industrializing and destroying our economy. Bringing our economy to its knees so that the globalists can come in and gobble up all of our assets and enslave the people. It is called fascism. Oh, Bill Clinton, at the orders of the banks, got rid of the very important, Glass-Steagall Act. Necessary for the banks to implode our financial system. Thank all your politicians for working so hard for their masters that are stealing you blind.

Basic Bob

Thu, Sep 2, 2010 : 7:26 p.m.

Neither Brewer or Walberg are qualified to speak on this issue. And EPI is not a neutral source of information, it is a labor think tank. Protectionism is one of its core values. Michigan has lost far more jobs to Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina than they have to Mexico and Canada. And in fact some of this foreign work is now returning to Michigan. This does not even consider the jobs lost to China and India. IMO, I would rather give a Canadian or Mexican worker a job rather than lose it to the opposite side of the planet. When a Mexican or Canadian company needs technical expertise or parts, they are more likely to get it from the US than an Asian company would.