Now that the negotiations are under way for a more modern North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), I think it’s important we discuss the elephant in the room… jobs. When the negotiations opened, United States Trade Representative Lighthizer said, “that at least 700,000 Americans have lost their jobs due to changing trade flows resulting from NAFTA.”  Others have raised questions about both the veracity and the utility of that 700,000 figure, but my purpose is to point out that's emphatically not the case with respect to the auto industry.

Here are the facts:

  • Since NAFTA took effect in 1993, international automakers have:
    • DOUBLED the number of Americans they directly employ
    • TRIPLED their U.S. production (over 5.5 million Made-In-America)*
  • Nearly half (47%) of all vehicles built by American workers each year are made in plants operated by international automakers.
  • In 2015, some 20 percent of all NAFTA trade ($230 billion) was auto related.
  • Since NAFTA took effect, worldwide exports of U.S.-built vehicles have more than doubled:
    • 1993: 978,155
    • 2016: 1,966,219
  • In 2015, some 20 percent of all NAFTA trade ($230 billion) was auto related.

NAFTA auto trade continues to spur innovation and support high-paying U.S. jobs. Trade and economic integration enabled by NAFTA has only enhanced the global competitiveness of the U.S. automobile industry. Recent rhetoric aiming to dismantle or withdraw from this agreement would result in significant setbacks for the U.S. auto industry and the economy.

It’s important to remember that these jobs are not just simply numbers… they belong to hardworking Americans across the country who support their families and communities by working for international automakers. To put it simply: it’s how it gets built. It’s how cars and trucks are built in the U.S. and we want to honor those men and women. Click here to watch the latest ad from Here For America to see just how it gets built in your state.

*Vehicles are made, built or manufactured in the United States using domestic and globally sourced parts.