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  1. #1
    Senior Member Darlene's Avatar
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    Lawmakers rally against Cafta

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    Lawmakers rally against Cafta

    By Elana Schor, Medill News Service
    Last Update: 6:25 PM ET April 20, 2005


    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Add a few more Republicans to the growing congressional opposition to the Central American Free Trade Agreement.



    More than two dozen lawmakers from both parties issued populist warnings about Cafta's brutal effect on U.S. manufacturers at an anti-Cafta rally Wednesday. They pledged to defeat the treaty, which was negotiated by the Bush administration and needs only Congress' approval to take effect.

    Cafta would eliminate tariffs on a number of manufactured goods imported to and exported from Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic, to encourage trade with those nations.

    But Cafta foes contend that multinational corporations will be encouraged by the agreement to take advantage of cheap foreign labor and will lay off U.S. workers. These opponents predict Cafta will compound U.S. trade deficits with the other signatory nations, and point to growing trade gaps in the aftermath of Cafta's North American sister, the North American Free Trade Agreement.

    "They said, 'vote for Nafta, and we'll have more trade with America,' and we went from a surplus to a deficit with Mexico," said Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Va. "We don't need a deficit with Central America ... I want America to be No. 1, not some foreign country."

    Cafta's potential effect pales in comparison to Nafta's, however. Trade with Nafta partners made up 24.5 percent of total U.S. trade in 2004, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. By contrast, 2004 trade with the six Cafta countries accounted for only 1.15 percent of total U.S. trade.

    Republicans casting their anti-Cafta stance as a populist and patriotic move were joined by Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, who decried the impulse to "selectively trade one segment of our economy against the other" during trade negotiations.

    Rep. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, noted that the average time elapsed between a trade agreement's presidential signing and its congressional vote is 55 days.

    More than 330 days have passed since the administration approved Cafta. The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on the treaty Thursday, and many at Wednesday's event criticized Republican leaders' omission of pro-labor and environmental groups from the witness list.

    "If Cafta were a better agreement, the Ways and Means hearing tomorrow would look a lot like today," Brown said, surrounded by representatives of the AFL-CIO, National Farmers Union, Oxfam and other anti-Cafta allies. "But Cafta supporters don't like balanced hearings any more than they like balanced trade."

    Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., pulled China into the mix, voicing another fear of many legislators agitated by the expanding Chinese economy.

    "The Chinese will find a back-door way to ship their goods into America," Jones said. He also predicted "a large number of Republicans from states (that) have lost jobs" would break ranks to vote down Cafta. Brown estimated 60 Republicans would reject the treaty in the full House.

    In 2002, 27 Republicans in the House voted against giving the president "fast track" authority on trade agreements, the most recent high-profile trade vote.

    Cafta has a long way to go before the vote. Republican leaders have vowed to work hard at allaying their colleagues' concerns, which would delay further action. The business community has also maintained its vigilant support for Cafta, which will help U.S. exports to the region rise by $2.7 billion, according to U.S. International Trade Commission analysis.

    U.S. imports from the region, the ITC said, would rise about the same amount.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    NO CAFTA in any version.

    NO FATAA WHATEVER IT IS ON OPEN BORDERS) in any version.

    NO MORE TRADE AGREEMENTS OF ANY KIND UNTIL WE FIGURE OUT WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON.
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
    Save America, Deport Congress! - Judy

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  3. #3
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    You Hooooooo

    Hypocritical? Look who pops his head up, lol.
    Republicans casting their anti-Cafta stance as a populist and patriotic move were joined by Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, who decried the impulse to "selectively trade one segment of our economy against the other" during trade negotiations.
    Yes, Sen. Craig. CAFTA stinks but then again, so does AMNESTY FOR ILLEGALS
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  4. #4
    Senior Member dman1200's Avatar
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    I'm so glad that some lawmakers are finally deciding to see the light at the end of the tunnel by pulling their heads from out of their backsides.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Darlene's Avatar
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    populist and patriotic move were joined by Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho,
    I almost barfed when I saw him referred to as patriotic.

  6. #6
    Yankee's Avatar
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    Free trade does nothing but increase the profits of big business and suck away American jobs and our lifestyle. It seems the traitorous Bush is trying evrry way he can to eliminate our way of life into 3rd world status.

  7. #7
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    I almost barfed when I saw him referred to as patriotic.
    Darlene, wanna bag?
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  8. #8
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    Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Va. "We don't need a deficit with Central America ... I want America to be No. 1, not some foreign country."
    too late;China imports far more to us than we to them.They are also our chief competitor for oil and once again,we're the runner up there as well.

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