Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Miami Herald Editorial for CAFTA

Voting for free trade instead of isolation: "CAFTA would liberalize trade among the United States and six nations close to Florida: The Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. It would put an end to the other nations' import taxes, which could boost sales on a broad range of U.S. products, everything from candy bars to cars. CAFTA would eliminate the few remaining U.S. duties on imports from the six countries. It also puts the United States closer to the prized goal: a Free Trade Area of the Americas.
It's absurd to suggest that CAFTA poses a threat to U.S. workers. Their combined economies, including that of the Dominican Republic, are smaller than that of Connecticut. Even so, these countries buy more U.S. goods than India, Russia and Indonesia combined. This alone merits creating a closer bond to give U.S. exporters greater access to a ready market...

Nor should disagreements over sugar be allowed to hold CAFTA hostage. It allows 109,000 metric tons of sugar to be imported into the United States the first year after CAFTA goes into effect, gradually increasing after that. U.S. officials estimate this amounts to only 1 ½ teaspoons per week per U.S. citizen. Sugar is a substantial cash crop in Florida, but this hardly amounts to a deal-breaker...
For the Bush administration, it's a test of the president's professed support for free trade. With Congress under siege from special interests opposed to free trade, Mr. Bush needs to spend some of his political capital in pursuit of this good cause. In 2000, he promised to make this the Century of the Americas. CAFTA is probably his last and best chance as president to turn that splendid vision into a welcome reality. "

No comments: