Skip to comments.CAFTA threatens sovereignty
Posted on 07/19/2005 8:56:49 PM PDT by w6ai5q37b
TWIN FALLS, Idaho -- "CAFTA is NAFTA on steroids," said Kent Snyder, executive director of The Liberty Committee, a group whose motto is "Political Action From Principle."
Affiliated with congressional representative Ron Paul, R-Texas -- who also opposes the Central American Free Trade Agreement-Dominican Republic -- the committee holds that CAFTA-DR, like the decade-old North American Free Trade Agreement isn't really about true free trade; it's about global managed trade.
"Think about it," Snyder said. "Why does it take over 1,000 pages to define free trade?"
In administrative works for several years CAFTA would create a NAFTA-like free trade zone between the United States and six other countries -- the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. It would erase most quotas and tariffs on imported goods and services. The trade agreement finally reached a Senate vote June 30. It passed by a narrow margin of 54-45 and moves to the House for a vote sometime next week.
Snyder said the agreement will no doubt be decided "by as little as three or four votes."
"The upcoming vote on CAFTA promises a replay of mafia-style tactics used to coerce votes from reluctant House members," he said. "Already, arms are being twisted; deals and pork payoffs are being made with your tax dollars; political threats have been issued -- and that's only the beginning."
Relinquishing U.S. sovereignty is the biggest reason to oppose CAFTA, he said.
"Then it's the economy, and the list goes down from there," he said.
Snyder referenced CAFTA-DR article 10.16.3 that "places the United States under the jurisdiction of international tribunals supervised by the United Nations."
Article 10.5.2 says international tribunals must use "customary international law" as established by "principle legal systems of the world" when deciding cases.
"CAFTA, like NAFTA, treats the U.S. Constitution like a relic," Snyder said.
Tom DeWeese, president of the American Policy Center, Warrenton, Va., said U.S. sovereignty is absolutely the No. 1 concern with CAFTA.
"Sovereignty is a question of who is in control," he said. "A nation should be in control of it own destiny and should not voluntarily relinquish that control.
"CAFTA is a danger to our independence and to our sovereignty, and it is the job of the U.S. government to protect Americans first," he said.
DeWeese said the trade agreement, like those that have gone before it are simply "a raid on our economy."
"It is a redistribution of wealth, and who has the most wealth?" he asked. "The United States does."
DeWeese said he supports free trade but not the "CAFTA truckload of regulations that tell you how to do it."
Information from the United States Trade Representative's office confirmed that CAFTA-DR countries already enjoy duty free access to the United States on up to 80 percent of their goods exported to the United States. For agriculture exports, CAFTA would reduce tariffs on many U.S goods going to Central America, but just as many would not be duty-free for at least another one to 15 years, the USTR office said.
Under the agreement, American taxpayers will also pay to develop trade with those nations. National Action Plans have been designed to identify each country's trade-capacity-building needs and funnel money from public (and private) sources ... "to make the transition and changes necessary to realize the linkage between trade and development."
Joel Gill, membership chairman for R-CALF USA, a national cattlemen's group, traveled on a fact-finding mission to Central America.
Gill said under CAFTA-DR, normal trade relations using supply quota for imports are not included.
"Beef has been declassified as a perishable and cyclical product, making it immune to 'snapbacks' or quotas of beef entering the country," he said.
Gill noted, too, that the two biggest cattle-producing countries in South America, Argentina and Brazil, could begin shipping cattle to Central America and then on to the United States under CAFTA-DR.
"We are being told that CAFTA is really the model for other trade agreements, like the Free Trade Area of the Americas," he said, adding the FTAA plans to link 34 nations -- the Western Hemisphere -- under one trade agreement.
"Brazil alone produces as much beef as the United State does," Gill said.
Observing intense poverty in some Central American countries, Gill said he isn't buying the claims of equitable trade opportunities.
"Their food-delivery system is sometimes a man on a bicycle with half a beef cutting off pieces for people to buy." That, he said, "flies in the face of all the great trading opportunities we are hearing about with CAFTA."
* Sen. Mike Crapo: Growers were not satisfied by administration promises to buy or keep out subsidized sugar entering the country under CAFTA, NAFTA, and new free trade agreements until the end of the current Farm Bill.
* Sen. Larry Craig: The United States should not trade one aspect of our economy for another. This agreement sacrifices the sugar industry -- a vital component of rural, southern Idaho.
CAFTA is most of all a threat to the gravy-train enjoyed by our big sugar producers, since for the first time in their lives they might actually have to sell at market prices.
Wouldn't be such at bad deal for U.S. consumers when sugar drops to half or less what it is today, plus having the tax money wasted on this pointless subsidy spent on say defense!
I for one would like to see Central Americans hard at work - in their own countries!
Don't forget Codex. Vitamins and supplements will be in control by big pharma. Forget about buying vitamin C over the counter. Health food industry will get hit big. Any congressmen who votes for Cafta is selling this country out and let him know that he is responsible for his vote.
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