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CAFTA, not just bananas

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Tommy

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I had asked the question, why are the countries willing to give up the tarriffs placed on USA goods. This could be one reason.



Tom Tancredo

Not Just Bananas

Congress will soon take up the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), which many see as an extension of NAFTA and a precursor to the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas that would convert all of North and South America into one integrated market.

Opinions about CAFTA’s impact on the regional economy vary widely among members of Congress based largely on what the agreement will do for their constituents. Proponents say the pact will create a pipeline to Central American markets for U.S. farm products and manufactured goods. Critics say its passage will devastate the protected U.S. sugar industry and spell certain death for the American textile industry.

But in the rush to highlight who wins and who loses when these trade barriers come down, almost everyone has overlooked the troubling non-trade provisions that are tucked into the voluminous document.

CAFTA would do more than just phase out tariffs and open new markets—a lot more. For example, buried among its nearly 1,000 pages, the agreement contains an expansive definition of “cross-border trade in services.” This definition would give people in Central American nations a de facto right to work in the United States. CAFTA is more than a trade agreement about sugar and bananas. It is a thinly disguised immigration accord.

The immigration provisions are cloaked as “service agreements” in the document that have become standard fare in most trade agreements.

One article of CAFTA reads, “Cross-border trade in services or cross-border supply of services means the supply of a service…by a national of a party in the territory of another party.” CAFTA goes on to stipulate that member nations take care to ensure that local and national “measures relating to qualification requirements and procedures, technical standards and licensing requirements do not constitute unnecessary barriers to trade in services,” and to guarantee that our domestic laws are “not in themselves a restriction on the supply of the service.”

What those provisions mean is that a foreign company would be empowered under CAFTA to challenge the validity of our immigration laws. If an international tribunal rules against us, Congress would then be forced to change our immigration laws or face international trade sanctions. These tribunals have the authority to rule that U.S. immigration limits, visa requirements, or even licensing requirements and zoning rules are “unnecessary burdens to trade” that act as “restrictions on the supply of a service.”

This hidden legislation to open the U.S. Border is only the beginning.

The chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, which oversees most international trade matters, believes that these kinds of immigration provisions are fair game for future trade deals as well. He said as much in early June: “We are currently in delicate negotiations in the World Trade Organization of market access, and one of the provisions is the question of temporary movement of legal aliens…”

If CAFTA were really just about trade, the agreement would be little more than a few pages long, declaring that tariff treatment for U.S. and Central American goods will be on a reciprocal basis. But it isn’t. In reality, CAFTA is about expanding a growing body of international law that supersedes our own.

If CAFTA is approved, Congress’ “exclusive” authority to regulate immigration policy will be subjugated to the whim of international tribunals and trade panels—in much the same way that Congress’ once supreme constitutional authority to “regulate commerce with foreign nations,” has already been largely ceded to the WTO.
 
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Anonymous

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Looks like two CAFTA opponents read what they wanted to hear.



~SH~
 
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Anonymous

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The facts on CAFTA have already been presented on this site in NCBA's factual response to R-CULT's baseless allegations.

The facts weren't what you wanted to hear so you continue to question these facts as if that would change them.

All you offered in opposition was your "CLAIM" that they were wrong. You offered no proof that they were wrong, AS USUAL.



~SH~
 

ocm

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The facts on CAFTA have already been presented on this site in NCBA's factual response to R-CULT's baseless allegations.

Tom Tancredo has nothing to do with R-CALF.

He is a Republican congressman from Colorado

He is a member of the International Relations Committee.

He has been working on immigration reform for a very long time and is concerned about the Bush Administration's lack of action on the Mexican border issue. He has praised the "Minutemen" who voluntarily patrolled the border for a while a few months back.

He is knowledgeable about trade and immigration.

He says CAFTA will open our borders to almost unlimited immigration from CAFTA countries. Under the "trade in services" clause of the agreement we would agree not to hinder the movement of workers from other CAFTA countries by using "unreasonable" immigration restrictions. Who gets to decide what is "unreasonable"? An international tribunal. If we refused to changes our laws to meet their definition of "reasonable" there would be trade sanctions (tariffs on our exports).

If you love more government, you'll love CAFTA.

You mean NCBA didn't tell you all these things!

PS I haven't heard it from R-CALF either.

MORE THAN TRADE

Suggestion: Put "more than a trade agreement" & "CAFTA" in a Google search. You'll get a lot of hits.
 

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