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Good Reasons To Reject CAFTA
The Daily Oklahoman ^ | 07-18-05 | Bill Graves

Posted on 07/18/2005 3:01:46 PM PDT by Osage Orange

Good reasons to reject CAFTA

By Bill Graves

Congress is debating the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), also known as son of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). America presumably benefits from "free" trade, and CAFTA allegedly will open up billions in trade between the United States and Central America. However, here's the other side of the story.

With CAFTA, as with its membership in NAFTA and the World Trade Organization, America will surrender more of its sovereignty as a nation and its states' rights to outside tribunals. For example, California's legislature passed a bill in 2004 to dispose of millions of scrap tires by recycling them into asphalt for road construction. When Mexican rubber producers claimed the bill violated NAFTA, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, citing NAFTA supremacy, vetoed the bill.

U.S. courts were overruled by a NAFTA tribunal in a dispute between Canadian and American firms. Afterward, a NAFTA tribunal judge said, "If Congress had known that there was anything like this in NAFTA, they never would have voted for it." He shouldn't be so sure. Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Warr Acres, who voted for NAFTA, believes that "U.S. sovereignty is less important than fostering interdependence and cooperation among nations with international bodies and tribunals."

Since NAFTA's passage, the U.S. trade surplus with Mexico was replaced by a trade deficit above $50 billion annually and a cumulative trade deficit exceeding $300 billion. The trade deficit with Canada and Mexico ballooned to 12 times its pre-NAFTA size. Moreover, 500,000 illegal immigrants annually make it across the border to take up American residence and enjoy the numerous social programs provided by overtaxed Americans. That will increase under CAFTA.

John Sweeney, AFL-CIO president, is firmly opposed to CAFTA because it is an extension of NAFTA. He said, "NAFTA has cost U.S. workers 900,000 jobs and job opportunities." Meanwhile, NAFTA didn't help Mexican workers as its supporters predicted, but Mexico's real wages fell and the number of poor increased.

Pat Buchanan said that with CAFTA, in return "for access to our market, we get access to six Central American markets with a total economy the size of" that of New Haven, Conn. Thus, about the only things the United States will be exporting to Central America are jobs, industry and capital as more factories seek to escape the U.S. tax and regulatory burden. In exchange, the United States will get even more illegal immigrants who are greatly attracted to the U.S. welfare state.

Despite all the talk about free trade, CAFTA's real purpose is not free trade. On May 31, President Bush said there is a "geopolitical, as well as economic, concern for CAFTA" in order to "support young democracies" in the region.

The columnist Charles Krauthammer said CAFTA gives America a chance to pull millions "out of poverty." Since when is it Congress' job to get non-Americans out of poverty? CAFTA, rather than being a "free trade" pact, is a disguised form of foreign aid.

Oklahomans should urge their congressmen to put not Central America's, but America's, economy first and reject the globaloney of CAFTA.

Graves is an Oklahoma City lawyer and former state representative.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: cafta; globaloney; nafta
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1 posted on 07/18/2005 3:01:46 PM PDT by Osage Orange
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To: Osage Orange

CAFTA will hurt the Chinese and help us stop sending money to a direct enemy.

Have Wal-Mart build its plastic crap in El Salvadore, not under direction from the Red Army.


2 posted on 07/18/2005 3:09:57 PM PDT by MeanWestTexan
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To: Osage Orange

Free trade is still good. We can't act like the world ends at our borders. Good relations in this hemisphere are invaluable to us. I remember the '80s and that sucked.


3 posted on 07/18/2005 3:12:53 PM PDT by DuckFan4ever (Tom Tancredo: Making the Democrats look normal since 2004)
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To: Osage Orange

What are the chances that there will be a SAFTA in the coming years?


4 posted on 07/18/2005 3:14:06 PM PDT by Marauder (From my cold, dead hands ...)
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To: MeanWestTexan

"CAFTA will hurt the Chinese and help us stop sending money to a direct enemy."

Ah, yes, we're just totally helpless when it comes to sending jobs and investment capital offshore, so we need to create another, "friendlier" one, so we won't send jobs and investment to a hostile country.

CAFTA-DR - Making The World Safe For Walmart™


5 posted on 07/18/2005 3:15:28 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry (Esse Quam Videre)
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To: DuckFan4ever

"We can't act like the world ends at our borders."

Says who? The voting public in the US?


6 posted on 07/18/2005 3:16:22 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry (Esse Quam Videre)
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To: Osage Orange

The United States should not trade with communist nations.


7 posted on 07/18/2005 3:20:47 PM PDT by blueberry12
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To: Osage Orange

This is certainly good news that we'll have unaccountable CAFTA tribunals telling us which US laws are good and which are bad.

I can't wait to enjoy the rule of unelected CAFTA bureaucrats designing and interpreting laws, regulations and rules. I always wanted to live under a soviet dictatorship that issues various edicts and demands.

Go ahead and fire Congress, since it's not needed.

Should I fly the communist or UN flag?


8 posted on 07/18/2005 3:37:54 PM PDT by sergeantdave (Marxism has not only failed to promote human freedom, it has failed to produce food)
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To: sergeantdave
How about a powder blue..Sickle and Hammer?

Kinda blend the two together....better yet..have a likeness of Bill Clinton in between the Sickle & Hammer....

9 posted on 07/18/2005 3:42:31 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Hillary's heart is darker than the devil's riding boots..................................)
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To: RegulatorCountry

Sorry you feel isolationism is the way to go. I figured most of you guys were completely discredited after pearl harbor. I'm a neoconservative and believe much more pragmatically than the classical conservatism that just wasn't correct in the contemporary world.


10 posted on 07/18/2005 3:46:13 PM PDT by DuckFan4ever (Tom Tancredo: Making Democrats look normal since 1998)
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To: Marauder

SAFTA would be awesome! an entire hemisphere of free trade. No other trading block could even come close to that... at least not at the present time.


11 posted on 07/18/2005 3:48:03 PM PDT by DuckFan4ever (Tom Tancredo: Making Democrats look normal since 1998)
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To: DuckFan4ever

"Sorry you feel isolationism is the way to go. I figured most of you guys were completely discredited after pearl harbor."

Oooh, dusted off that old saw... bringin' out the big guns, LOL.

And I'm sorry that you feel that the sovreignity of our nation should be thrown out the window in service to a little short-term profit. I'm also sorry that you're in favor of building up the industrial might of China, who respects no patent, no intellectual property, and is in no way constrained from nationalizing all the fine, new factories that have been built in Guangzhou and elsewhere over the past several years.

You ARE in favor of the predecessor treaty to CAFTA-DR, known as NAFTA, aren't you? Lacking any isolationist strain as you proclaim, I'm sure that WTO membership for China was right up your alley too.

You guys really have some nerve trotting this crap out so fast on the heels of what can only be termed an utter implosion of textile manufacturing in the US, and increasingly furniture. And now agriculture, too, with "Big Sugar" being placed on the sacrificial altar. Tobacco will be next.

What other domestic industries in the US do you deem too successful, and in need of hollowing out? And what gave you the right? It certainly was not the voting public. Was it some lovely little internationalist cabal, hmmm?


12 posted on 07/18/2005 4:01:25 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry (Esse Quam Videre)
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To: Osage Orange
Well, if John Sweeny and Pat Buchanan agree on something it must be a good idea!
13 posted on 07/18/2005 4:03:45 PM PDT by Moral Hazard ("I believe the children are the future" - Whitney Houston; "Fight the future" - X-files)
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To: RegulatorCountry

Didn't know I was talking to Pat Buchanon. Hey, we'll disagree on this one.


14 posted on 07/18/2005 4:13:51 PM PDT by DuckFan4ever (Tom Tancredo: Making Democrats look normal since 1998)
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To: DuckFan4ever

"... at least not at the present time."

Qualifying and equivocating already, on the 11th post. Yep, that raises MY trust level, LOL.


15 posted on 07/18/2005 4:14:07 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry (Esse Quam Videre)
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To: DuckFan4ever

"Didn't know I was talking to Pat Buchanon."

And I didn't know I was talking to Kofi Annan.


16 posted on 07/18/2005 4:14:54 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry (Esse Quam Videre)
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To: DuckFan4ever

How much of our Constitution do you want replaced because it is not in step with a "United NA"?
Do you want Mexicans and Canadians influencing our enjoyment, of our inalienable rights?


17 posted on 07/18/2005 4:22:05 PM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (LET ME DIE ON MY FEET IN MY SWAMP, ALEX KOZINSKI FOR SCOTUS)
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To: RegulatorCountry

And now agriculture, too, with "Big Sugar" being placed on the sacrificial altar. Tobacco will be next.

Good riddance to "Big Sugar"...Big Sugar is the reason Life Savers are now made in Canada (along with an increasing number of candies and baked items)


18 posted on 07/18/2005 4:55:09 PM PDT by kaktuskid
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To: kaktuskid

Good riddance to "Big Sugar"

OK, just so long as we know where you're coming from; you want cheap candy, and don't care how many American citizens lose their jobs to keep you stocked up, fat and happy. One question, though: where do you suppose Life Savers will be produced, if CAFTA-DR is enacted? Has it ever dawned on you to question just why it is, that Life Savers, and the increasing number of candies and baked items that you mention, are now produced in Canada? Could it be NAFTA, or is it all just one-a them there weird coincidences?


19 posted on 07/18/2005 5:06:25 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry (Esse Quam Videre)
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To: DuckFan4ever
Good relations in this hemisphere are invaluable to us.

Really? So, for all the lack of support the South Americans have given us in Iraq and the War on Terror we should reward them with this treaty?????

20 posted on 07/18/2005 6:00:08 PM PDT by raybbr
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To: A. Pole

ping


21 posted on 07/18/2005 6:01:38 PM PDT by raybbr
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To: RegulatorCountry
Has it ever dawned on you to question just why it is, that Life Savers, and the increasing number of candies and baked items that you mention, are now produced in Canada?

Because federal price-supports for sugar make it more expensive here than in Canada? What do I win?

22 posted on 07/19/2005 10:27:07 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy; RegulatorCountry
Because federal price-supports for sugar make it more expensive here than in Canada?

Because CAFTA gives advantage to countries which have a cost-of-production advantage over the United States because they are not required to meet the same labor and environmental standards?

How big a loss must we take on our economy so you can win?
23 posted on 07/19/2005 10:32:49 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: hedgetrimmer
CAFTA hasn't passed yet, and you're already blaming it? LOL
24 posted on 07/19/2005 10:34:43 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy
"Because federal price-supports for sugar make it more expensive here than in Canada?"

And it's just one-a them there coincidences that production could just be relocated, lock stock and barrel, to Canada. Why, I wonder, were Life Savers ever produced in the US? Nothing to do with NAFTA, nope, no sireee bob, just one-a them there strange coincidences. Yep.
25 posted on 07/19/2005 10:38:01 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry (Esse Quam Videre)
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To: RegulatorCountry
Are you saying that LifeSavers would not have relocated in the absence of NAFTA? I'm curious on what grounds you come to this conclusion.
26 posted on 07/19/2005 10:39:52 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: kaktuskid; RegulatorCountry
Good riddance to "Big Sugar"...

Now we can get our sugar from those sugar plantations in the Dominican Republic that the US State Department says have such poor sanitation there is no sewage or running water for the workers, and where the US State Department says slave and child labor are used to cut the cost of production.

Yes, "good riddance" to the American producers who put out the highest quality, cleanest, most efficiently produced product in the world. The world doesn't need farmers like that and we certainly wouldn't want the third world to bring up their standards to match ours. Nope, bring back the 19th century plantation mentality-- sanitation, slave labor and all. Our food tastes so much better when its produced that way!
27 posted on 07/19/2005 10:40:06 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: hedgetrimmer

"How big a loss must we take on our economy so you can win?"

These twits think they're buying world peace. That's what it all boils down to, that, plus Making The World Safe For Walmart™


28 posted on 07/19/2005 10:40:40 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry (Esse Quam Videre)
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To: Moral Hazard
Which U.S. groups oppose CAFTA?

Organized Labor. Labor unions, including the AFL/CIO, say CAFTA will result in a net loss of U.S. jobs, and that the agreement fails to provide adequate education or job training for those left unemployed.


Council on Foreign Relations Talking Points.
29 posted on 07/19/2005 10:42:14 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: hedgetrimmer

I thought those were AFL-CIO talking points?


30 posted on 07/19/2005 10:43:20 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: hedgetrimmer

"Which U.S. groups oppose CAFTA?"

Nearly every single politician, Republican or Democrat, in the state of NC, with the odd exception of Sue Myrick. Wonder why?


31 posted on 07/19/2005 10:45:01 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry (Esse Quam Videre)
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To: 1rudeboy
If they had moved prior to NAFTA their product here would have been considered an import with whatever accompanying restrictions and inspections. Of course you know that.
32 posted on 07/19/2005 10:46:02 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: 1rudeboy

Are you saying CAFTA countries don't have a cost-of-production advantage over the United States? Clearly they do.

How do you propose that advantage is turned into a "level playing field" as you internationalists like to say it will under CAFTA?

One is lower than the other, so lets think this through. If one is lower, to make them 'level', you can raise one, or you can lower the other. Do you think the cost-of-production will be raised for the CAFTA countries? I don't think you are THAT disingenous, but we'll wait for you to answer.


33 posted on 07/19/2005 10:49:45 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: hedgetrimmer
As you likely (I hope) know that their product is an import now, with whatever accompanying restrictions and inspections.
34 posted on 07/19/2005 10:50:06 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: hedgetrimmer
If one is lower, to make them 'level', you can raise one, or you can lower the other. Do you think the cost-of-production will be raised for the CAFTA countries?

Heck, yes! Lower the other!

35 posted on 07/19/2005 10:51:45 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

Nope those came from your friends at the CFR.


36 posted on 07/19/2005 10:52:03 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: 1rudeboy

"Are you saying that LifeSavers would not have relocated in the absence of NAFTA?"

I suppose, in your view, that it's just a miracle that any domestic manufacturing exists at all, or ever existed for that matter.

You guys are going to reduce us all to selling junk back and forth to one another on e-Bay.


37 posted on 07/19/2005 10:52:58 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry (Esse Quam Videre)
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To: hedgetrimmer
Nope. Your friends at the AFL-CIO.
38 posted on 07/19/2005 10:53:42 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: RegulatorCountry

Non-answer, but a nice attempt nonetheless.


39 posted on 07/19/2005 10:54:17 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

Lowering our cost of production means that property owners will see a wholesale crash of the value of their property. But it doesn't matter if the sovereign indivdual loses money on this deal, as long as the transnational corporations win.


40 posted on 07/19/2005 10:55:36 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: hedgetrimmer

Apparently Canada has no problem with that so-called "dirty" sugar, nor does our gov't who allows the sweets to be imported from Canada. Nor have we heard of mass poisonings from ingestion of Canadian LifeSavers.

BTW, another foe of CAFTA is Sandinista Danny Ortega, who is attempting to regain power in Nicaragua through elections (remember the Contras?)


41 posted on 07/19/2005 10:55:53 AM PDT by kaktuskid
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To: 1rudeboy

I wouldn't know, having never been to that website. But that text came directly from the Council on Foreign Relations talking points for CAFTA.


42 posted on 07/19/2005 10:56:59 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: hedgetrimmer
Lowering our cost of production means that property owners will see a wholesale crash of the value of their property.

Lord I hope so. Why should taxpayers send them a one billion-plus check per year?

43 posted on 07/19/2005 10:57:10 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: hedgetrimmer

Well, now you know.


44 posted on 07/19/2005 10:57:55 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: DuckFan4ever
I remember the '80s and that sucked.

Yeah, Reagan did a horrible job.

45 posted on 07/19/2005 10:59:10 AM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: kaktuskid
Apparently Canada has no problem with that so-called "dirty" sugar

Nor do they have a problem propping up Fidel Castro by buying sugar from him, either.

So I take it that you think a 19th plantation, slave labor and all, is THE place to purchase your foodstuffs?
46 posted on 07/19/2005 10:59:33 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: 1rudeboy

"Nope. Your friends at the AFL-CIO."

You seem altogether too gleeful at having handed so much ammunition to that bunch of socialists. You don't recognize the problem in having done that, because to you it's just a neat little label, a way to tar conservative opposition to your little globalist do-gooder treaty, which is merely the latest salvo in a long string of globalist do-gooder treaties. You have the gall to hold this up as a way to "avoid" doing business with China, but who the hell was it that made China into the export powerhouse that it is today? The very same people who are touting CAFTA-DR. You, and people just like you, plus your puppetmasters at the UN.


47 posted on 07/19/2005 11:00:41 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry (Esse Quam Videre)
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To: 1rudeboy

Everyone's property values will go down. Then we wouldn't have any money left to put in the Pell grant fund! You could get hurt by it too!


48 posted on 07/19/2005 11:01:05 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: hedgetrimmer

Nice. And no one will afford hedgetrimmers! Whatever will you do?


49 posted on 07/19/2005 11:03:57 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

oh, hedges ALWAYS need trimming. Those globalist elitists that run the transnationals don't like seeing a TWIG out of place.


50 posted on 07/19/2005 11:08:02 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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