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POLITICS: Congress asked to OK new Central American free-trade zone

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posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 10:13 AM
The Bush Administration has submitted draft legislation to the Congress in an effort to ensure passage of the Central American free trade agreement. The agreement which would eliminate most tariffs and duties between the U.S. and Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said that more than 90 percent of her party were opposed because of opposition to labor rights provisions. The Administration has indicated that this agreement is needed to help level the playing field.
WASHINGTON - The White House sent Congress legislation late Thursday in an effort to secure passage of a controversial Central American trade agreement as Bush administration officials offered new concessions to the sugar industry to win support.

Congressional committees approved a mock version of the legislation last week in a tentative show of support. However, lawmakers representing sugar states are wary of the agreement. The House and Senate must vote within 90 legislative days of receiving the measure.

“The agreement will help to level the playing field because about 80 percent of Central America’s imports already enjoy duty-free access to our market,” President Bush wrote in a letter to Congress.

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Its interesting to see the farm lobbies kick in. While both sides are spinning for all its worth, how much sugar would they be able to import? No doubt enough to drop the prices from their protected levels. According to the article we are taking about 2 percent increase. Are the margins that tight? Or is the sugar industry that greedy? It a logical choice to open up trade between North and South America especially as a county to the EU or other blocks that may form.


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