Latin American Presidents Pitch CAFTA
By George Anderson
Presidents from the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua are in the nation’s capital today at the request of the Bush administration to help persuade lawmakers that the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) will benefit the American economy while promoting growth in their nations.
The trip by the Central American leaders to pitch Congressional leaders may be a first, Senate historian Donald Ritchie told The Associated Press, “We haven’t been able to come up with anything comparable to this. It is unusual for any head of state to lobby Congress, but even more unusual for a half dozen to do it.”
The Honduran president, Ricardo Maduro, said citizens in his and other countries needed to see that democracy works for all. “That means sustained, significant and equitable economic growth, and the only way we are going to be able to get that… is by having trading partners like the U.S. under systems like CAFTA,” he said.
Opponents of the agreement point to the already growing U.S. trade deficit and the loss of jobs to other countries where the nation has free trade deals in place as reasons for Congress to vote against CAFTA.
Moderator’s Comment: Should Congress approve the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)? If approved, what will the impact be on the domestic
retailing industry and consumers? –
George Anderson – Moderator
- Six Latin American leaders urge Congress to adopt free trade pact – The Associated Press/Arkansas Democrat