NAFTA has failed Maryland and U.S.

When free trade proponents sold the American people on the idea of the North American Free Trade Agreement, they promised that it would be a boon economically. Evidence, however, suggests that it has been anything but.

Since NAFTA's implementation, Americans have dealt with stagnating wages, outsourced jobs, increased illegal immigration, an influx of contaminated products and rapid environmental degradation. By 2008, according to, NAFTA had cost America nearly 3 million well-paying manufacturing jobs, 3,000 family farms, countless businesses — and with them tax revenues — and billions of dollars through trade deficits.

Maryland has certainly not been immune. Increased trade deficits after NAFTA was enacted displaced about 12,600 jobs between 1993 and 2004 alone. The bottom line is that NAFTA was a bad deal for America and a bad deal for our state and should be renegotiated as President Obama vowed to do during the campaign.

Tonya Scott, Gaithersburg

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