CAFTA passage by US Congress far from certain

CAFTA PASSAGE BY U.S. CONGRESS FAR FROM CERTAIN

For Immediate Release

March 25, 2005

Contact: Kristen Quigley, Congressman Walter Jones, (202) 225-3861

Linwood Duncan, Congressman Virgil Goode, (434) 792-1280

Supporters of the proposed Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) have attempted to create the impression that the United States Congress is likely to ratify CAFTA in the coming session. This is a concentrated effort to spread disinformation about the true nature of the situation in Washington. There is strong bi-partisan opposition to CAFTA in the United States House of Representatives, and it is our opinion that, if presented to Congress for a vote today, the agreement would fail.

If the past eleven years under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Mexico and Canada is any indication, this model of trade agreement will benefit neither Central Americans nor the United States. Elected leaders in Central America should not be swayed by pro-CAFTA arguments that they should vote to ratify CAFTA because passage of the agreement by the U.S. Congress is certain. The reality of the situation in Washington is that any attempt to present CAFTA to Congress for a vote at this time faces substantial hurdles and in our opinion will not result in passage of the agreement.

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