• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

U.S. Vote on Trade Pact Goes Beyond This Region

April 15, 2005

U.S. congressional discussion of theCentral American Free-Trade Agreementwith the United States (CAFTA) is not justabout getting more Kraft cheese singles onMás x Menos shelves, or fear thatSalvadoran textile workers may take jobsout of the hands of U.S. citizens.The trade pact apparently representssomething larger in the United States.It is the first up to congressional bat ina long line of trade agreements negotiatedby former U.S. trade representative RobertZoellick during the first term of U.S.President George W. Bush.Its success is being viewed by many inthe United States as the litmus test forthose that follow.“CAFTA is hugely important beyond itstrade… it has symbolic importance. If itdoes not pass, it will put a chill, not just onU.S.-negotiated agreements with othercountries, but on everything negotiatedduring Doha round (of the World TradeOrganization). For this administration, thestakes are very high,” said DanielGriswold, director for the Center for TradePolicy Studies at the Cato Institute.CAFTA is considered the first in a newgeneration of agreements, which, in additionto the normal trade and investment,cover intellectual property rights, environmentand labor standards.U.S. trade pacts waiting in the wings,at various stages of negotiation, includeMorocco, Bahrain, Botswana, Namibia,South Africa and Swaziland.Considering this is the “biggest legislativetrade issue of the year,” Griswold saidhe believes the Bush administration will bewilling to expend the political capital to getCAFTA passed.This may prove to be a challenge.Most insiders agree the U.S. House ofRepresentatives will be the main battlegroundfor the trade pact’s ratification, asthe Senate is typically more trade-friendly,Griswold said.“There’s a growing resistance to internationaltrade in this country, and it’sfrankly driven mostly by concerns aboutwhat’s going on with the Asian countries,China in particular,” added Hank Cox, vicepresidentfor media relations for theNational Association of Manufacturers.“We’ll be locked in a major political battleover the next couple of months,” headded.

You may be interested

Why Birds and Birders in Costa Rica Flock to Monteverde
Birding
1527 views
Birding
1527 views

Why Birds and Birders in Costa Rica Flock to Monteverde

Dorothy MacKinnon - January 24, 2021

What makes Monteverde a must-stop on almost every birding tour of Costa Rica? To paraphrase the real estate experts: habitat,…

US, Mexico, Guatemala bar migrant caravans, citing Covid
Central America
128 views
Central America
128 views

US, Mexico, Guatemala bar migrant caravans, citing Covid

AFP - January 24, 2021

The United States, Mexico and Guatemala agreed Friday to bar migrant caravans from passing through their territories due to the…

Costa Rica and IMF reach technical agreement on fiscal adjustment
Costa Rica
1242 views
Costa Rica
1242 views

Costa Rica and IMF reach technical agreement on fiscal adjustment

AFP and The Tico Times - January 23, 2021

Costa Rica and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced Friday an agreement to balance the country's finances, which rules out…