Thursday, May 19, 2005

CAFTA, Pro Or Con

I was just checking my e-mail, so that will be behind me before I go to work tonight. I got an e-mail some of you might be interested in, the American Economic Alert. There were several articles on the latest free trade nightmare, the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). I don't know if there is anyone out there that hasn't decided if they support or oppose CAFTA or not, if there is I hope this will be of some help.

The first article, "Trading down?" from the Washington Times Commentary, By Alan Tonelson, http://www.washtimes.com/commentary20050517-091434-8721r.htm says, "For example, CAFTA's champions contend it will create major new export markets for goods and services, and increase U.S. output, employment and wages." Is it just me or is that what we were told about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?

The second article, http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/business/11664267.htm from The State.com, By Lauren Markoe tells us that CAFTA might not be an easy sell and why. "CAFTA, a priority for the Bush administration that could pave the way for other free trade treaties, will have an uphill battle in Congress next month-even its supporters acknowledge." Pave the way for other free trade treaties? None of the past treaties have worked, why do we need more?

The third article comes from Fox News, By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, "CAFTA Reinvigorates Job-Loss Issue", http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,156719,00.html It should reinvigorate the job loss issue, since we started getting into free trade agreements our number 1 export has become jobs. "You have to wonder what advantage it will have to the United States-I think the only advantage would be for companies who want to move overseas," said Rep. Michael Michaud, D-Maine, who argues that his state has suffered enough under past agreements."

The fourth article, http://www.greatfallstribune./apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050515/BUSINESS505150309/1046/NEWS01 The administrations seems to be trying pretty hard to sell CAFTA to the farmers and ranchers. "Power-area rancher Erik Somerfeld believes American-raised beef is the best in the world, but he doesn't think many Central Americans can afford it." Years ago I heard a wise man say you don't do business with a person that can't pay you, now the United States is considering entering into an agreement with some of the poorest nations in the world, http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/news/article/0,1299,DRMN_3_3780520,00.html . That's right the fight is on, contact your elected officials and urge them to say no to CAFTA.

There were more articles on CAFTA in this e-mail, but I'm going to end my post with a letter to the editor of The Washington Times, Looking Out For Our Best Interests, http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20050513-093732-5585r.htm .

In case you hadn't guessed I'm opposed to CAFTA as I was to NAFTA. NAFTA did not help the working men and women in any of the three countries involved, making it bigger will not make it better. The only people that will gain are the ones that will move more factories out of the country if this agreement is passed. I guess the title to this post could have been, CAFTA A Con By The Pro's.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

7 Comments:

Blogger Whymrhymer said...

David,

Lots of reading there!

For my part, I'm all in favor of unrestricted trade all over the world, as long as it's a level playing field, i.e., no restrictions on our exports or on their imports. For a while, jobs will come and go and our ecomomys will be in flux but eventually we'll all adjust.

7:48 PM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

I've been ranting against the CAFTA for months now. I'm glad someone else picked up on it. CAFTA is designed to flood our market with cheap products, which will hurt us and help the poorer countries. It is designed to lift tariffs, which once again will hurt us and help them. It is also designed to keep American jobs from going to Asia by sending them to Central America instead. Wonderful scheme Bush and his buddies in Latin America thought up, isn't it?

1:05 AM  
Blogger bart said...

ok, just a little rant from me then... economics is a system devised and held alive by humans, it's not Absolute Truth whatever way you need to look at it.

If anything, economics is a discipline which mirrors human experience, but doesn't try to define the existence as such...

Just my two cents... cheers/

12:22 PM  
Blogger Brian Duffy said...

I am for CAFTA. When I first started looking into it I found that there was no clear side. CATO Heritage and the Progressive Policy Institute are all for it. Daily KOS and the socialist leftist along with the paleo-conservatives are against it.
I looked at it from a couple of points: one, we have screwed Central America for to long and it is time we become a better neighbor. Free-trade is the only hope for the future, just look at Hong Kong, Chile and South Korea. Free trade has made these countries economic powerhouses in a short amount of time. Watch Poland, they are the next economic super power. Lastly the only way to defeat Castro and Chavez is to enhance prosperity around these communist countries. Let the work forces of Latin America grow. Free Trade means freedom; freedom means liberty.

4:01 PM  
Blogger David Schantz said...

After we have shipped all of our manufacturing jobs over seas who will be buying the foreign made goods that are shipped into the United States. Our new trade partners will soon learn you can't do business with someone that doesn't have any money.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic

4:42 PM  
Blogger Brian Duffy said...

David,

Since NAFTA we have actually increased the number of jobs in the US. The idea here is not to be the world major textile producer, but the world leading industrial innovator. Competition made this country great. Taking competition out of America has made us weak. Competition is freedom. Let’s have some freedom.

12:48 AM  
Blogger Captain Mike said...

The problem with NAFTA and CAFTA is precisely that they are NOT free trade agreements. A free trade agreement consists of one sentence: "We the undersigned countries hereby agree that we will place no restrictions, taxes, quotas or tarriffs on any trade between the peoples of our various nations."

NAFTA, and I presume CAFTA, consist of some 60,000 pages of rules and regulations. This is not free trade.

The USA was founded to be a "free trade zone." We do not tax items imported from California into New York. No cars are made in New York, they are ALL imported from other States. (Of course, that is changing. The politicians are now trying to enforce sales taxes on internet purchases from out of state.)

Free trade simply applies this principle, which works well within the US, to international trade. If people are willing to trade with each other, why should this be restricted because some politicians drew a line on a map, and that line runs between them? People are people everywhere and have the absolute RIGHT to trade with each other, provided no force or fraud is present.

Free trade ultimately benefits everyone. Yes, there are adjustments to be made, but the division of labor, even the international division of labor, is an unmitigated good.

4:42 AM  

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