CAFTA: Fact vs. Fiction

By June 2, 2005Dobbs Watch, Trade

As most of you know, the vote on the Central American/Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR, for short) is looming. “Truth” you might also know, “is the first casualty of war.”

With help from demagogues like Louie-One-Note Dobbs, the misinformation is flying.

If we may, some facts:

— The US ain’t big on trade barriers, i.e., we don’t have many of them here. Other countries do. When we enter into trade agreements with other countries, their barriers are lowered, thereby encouraging the entry of US goods into those markets. This isn’t theory. In the time since the US-Chile free trade agreement went into effect, the US’ share of the Chilean market soared while the EU’s dropped. Our stuff is still the best in the world. And, as it turns out, the world is round. Who knew….?

— Some 15,000+ manufacturers export into the CAFTA market now. More will follow if this deal is approved. At the moment, tariffs (read: barriers) are 30-100% higher than ours. This deal will lower those tariffs and clear the way for more exports from the best manufacturers in the world, and more jobs here at home.

— More companies export into the CAFTA region than into China.

— Last but not least, 80% of our trade deficit comes from countries with which we don’t have a trade agreement.

Would somebody please send this to Lou Dobbs before he gets laryngitis….? And while you’re at it, send him this link, too, with some actual facts — not rhetoric — about CAFTA.