"Good Reasons To Reject CAFTA"
Posted Mon, Jul 18, 2005 at 1:14 pm
From Bill Graves, Oklahoma City lawyer and former state representative:
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.Previously: "Why does President George Bush support CAFTA?" and see also StopCAFTA.
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..."