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The Central America Free Trade Agreement: Three Reasons for Congress to Vote No

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The Central America Free Trade Agreement: Three Reasons for Congress to Vote No. Congress needs to understand the implications of trade agreements for our trading partners in the developing world. The Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) is the first such agreement the United States has negotiated with less-developed countries, including some of the poorest in the hemisphere. These countries depend heavily on agriculture for the livelihood of significant portions of their populations, are ravaged by curable diseases due to poverty and inadequate health-care coverage, are sorely lacking in public infrastructure and in several cases are highly indebted. Yet CAFTA does not take as a starting point the disparities in development and resources between the US and the region; instead, it is modeled on the US bilateral free trade agreements with Chile and Singapore and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Based on our knowledge of NAFTA and the US agreements with Chile and Singapore, as well as news reports, USTR briefings and information from our partners in the region, Oxfam believes the double standards and rigged rules of US trade policy set forth in CAFTA will be a setback for development and poverty reduction in Central America.

 

By Oxfam USA, US.

International Trade Policy Resource.