|May 16, 2005|
The DR-CAFTA Implementation Act (H.R. 3045 / S. 1307) passed the Senate 54-45 on 6-30-05 (Roll Call 170), passed the House 217-215 on 7-28-05 (Roll Call 443) and was signed by President Bush (PDF) on 8-02-05.
Further Reading: CAFTA
CAFTA IS A BAD DEAL FOR AMERICA
Tell Your Representative to vote NO on CAFTA!
The House of Representatives will soon vote on the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). The United States signed CAFTA in May 2004 with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. On August 5, 2004, it was expanded to include the Dominican Republic (sometimes called DR-CAFTA).
CAFTA is a dangerous power grab that threatens our national sovereignty. Under CAFTA, state legislatures would relinquish their right to regulate utilities, land use, and taxpayer-funded contracts. CAFTA includes hundreds of pages of grants of vague authority to foreign tribunals. It wouldn't take a very activist foreign judge to read his own interpretation into language that requires us to use the "least trade-restrictive" regulations and to change our laws so they are "no more burdensome than necessary."
CAFTA would also prohibit any preference states could give to contractors in their state. Any Central American country could file a complaint, and the state would have to rely for its defense on the U.S. Government that has already agreed to CAFTA's rules. If President Bush is successful in starting private accounts in Social Security, WTO rules would require us to let foreign money managers and insurers bid to manage our retirement.
The pro-CAFTA lobby's promise of big trade with the CAFTA countries is a pipe dream. How can anyone expect customers for U.S. products from countries where half the people live below the poverty line and the hourly wages are often below 50 cents per hour?
The real purpose of CAFTA is to allow multinational corporations to exploit the abundance of cheap labor and the scarcity of taxes and safety regulations in CAFTA countries. CAFTA will increase our $58 billion job-killing U.S. trade deficit and further weaken our already suffering dollar.
Congress should defeat CAFTA and reassert the primacy of our Constitution, which states that only Congress has the power "to regulate commerce with foreign nations" and that treaties are valid only if ratified by two-thirds of Senators.
Targeted Senators: Grassley, Hatch, Lott, Snowe, Kyl, Thomas, Santorum, Frist, Smith, Bunning, Crapo, Baucus, Rockefeller, Conrad, Bingaman, Lincoln, Wyden
Targeted House Members: Wamp, Jenkins, Franks, Tancredo, Deal, Gingrey, Westmoreland, Inglis, Barrett, H. Brown, Coble, Myrick, McHenry, Everett, Bonner, H. Rogers, Sodrel, Hoekstra, J. Davis (VA), Sullivan
Call Your Members of Congress Today!
Capitol Switchboard: (202)-224-3121