Happy (Belated) Birthday Dear CAFTA….

By March 5, 2007Trade

And, sorry we missed CAFTA’s big birthday by a few days, so we’ll just have to wish a happy belated birthday to CAFTA today. You’ll recall all the opposition to this pact, even though it would open markets to US manufacturers large and small. No matter, the facts were swept up by the protectionist rhetoric swirling around the debate. But one year later, it’s clear that the anti-trade sentiment was (once again) misplaced.

Secretary Gutierrez hit on some of these facts when he spoke to the NAM Board, but they bear repeating:

  • CAFTA lifted duties on 80% of the US exports going into that region.
  • We had a $1.2 billion trade deficit with CAFTA countries. Now we have a $1 billion trade surplus, post-CAFTA.
  • U.S. exports to the seven CAFTA countries were $22.3 billion in 2006, an increase of over 18 percent since the pact was signed.
  • U.S. exports to these seven Central American countries are larger than American exports to Spain, Russia and Argentina combined.
  • Here’s a link to a pretty good Bloomberg story that lays out the many benefits that have emanated from CAFTA. It’s important to keep all this in mind when the protectionists come ’round again, as they most surely will.

    We’ll say it again: Trade agreements open markets to US-manufactured goods. It’s why we support ’em.