CAFTA will add to loss of 3,000,000 mfg. jobs in last 5 years
NAFTA and Permanent Normal Trade status for Red China have helped balloon America's trade deficit from $38 billion/yr in 1992, to $618 billion/yr in 2004, and have helped generate exodus of American factories and manufacturing jobs overseas to Communist China, Mexico, etc.
United States Senator's like Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) have made this possible (DeMint voted for Red China PNTR status on May 24, 2000, and voted for CAFTA on June 30, 2005). So why does supposedly "conservative" South Carolina continue to elect and re-elect a Congressman selling out American factory workers and industry to Communists and Latin America ?
"... where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 2 Corinthians 3:17
Independent * candidate for U.S. House of Representatives
US House District #2, South Carolina
* American Christian for a Biblically-based constitutional republic
July 27, 2005
Posted 7/24/2005 8:27 PM
Deal would favor select few
By Sherrod Brown
If the House of Representatives passes the Central American Free Trade Agreement, it will take place in the middle of the night, the normal 15-minute roll call will be extended to about three hours so that House leaders can twist arms, and the legislation will pass by one or two votes.
CAFTA supporters say the agreement will increase our exports. What they haven't said is the combined purchasing power of the CAFTA nations is equivalent to that of Columbus, Ohio. Or that an average Nicaraguan worker earns about $2,300 a year.
This agreement wouldn't allow workers in Central America to buy prime beef from Nebraska, or cars made in Ohio, or software from Seattle. These countries wouldn't be competing to buy our products, they'd be competing to make them.
When I was first elected to Congress in 1992, our trade deficit the amount by which our imports exceed our exports was $38 billion. Last year after a decade of the North American Free Trade Agreement, China's Permanent Normal Trade Relations and a host of other trade agreements our trade deficit has ballooned to $618 billion. More important, we have lost three million manufacturing jobs in the last five years.
Now congressional leaders and the president want to do more of the same. CAFTA, as other trade agreements, was negotiated by a select few for a select few. It builds in strong protections for U.S. pharmaceutical companies, but does nothing for American or Central American workers. It protects Hollywood films, but not the environment.
That's why the opposition to CAFTA is so wide and deep Republicans and Democrats; small manufacturers and labor unions; family farmers and environmentalists; Roman Catholic bishops in Central America and Jewish, Lutheran and Presbyterian leaders in our country.
There is a better way. Trade policy should benefit also workers and small business, not only our largest corporations. Our trade agreement should protect the environment and food safety. Labor standards should be adopted to respect American workers and lift up workers in poor countries.
When the world's poorest people can buy American products, not just make them, then we will know that our trade policies are finally working.
Rep. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is author of Myths of Free Trade.
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