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Is CAFTA a National Security issue?

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posted on Jul, 28 2005 @ 12:25 AM
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I spent a good deal of today watching CSPAN and the House Rules committee and was a little bit puzzled by some of the assertions the representatives made.
For the most part they are still divided along party lines however, what did strike me is how even some Republicans spoke out against CAFTA and yet others were in favor of it citing reasons of National Security as did Pres. Bush in his speech.
The rationale was that if we didn't pass CAFTA then Central America would be our next border problem with the poorer class coming here.

It was further postulated that CAFTA would be a good thing and Gdubbya even commented on BushHog of Alabama being in a position of selling more equipment to Central American farmers.
Am I missing somethig here? The economics of selling requires the purchaser to first have the money, and second the desire to buy at an affordable price. Isn't the economy down there (I'm conglomerating all of Central America here)so bad that they need CAFTA in order to remain a viable entity? (maybe this is why its being pushed through?)
(Further, the trickle down economics that was so spouted years ago doesn't seem to trickle fast enough and the reasoning to me seems simple enough. How can you build autos paying workers $22/hr and try to sell to workers making $6/hr as one example.)
Also, as stated by a number of reps from various States this would actually cost more jobs with manufacturers taking business there in order to get the job done at a cheaper labor rate.
Another thing, instead of the 20 hrs that could be afforded the House to debate new resolutions, CAFTA was just ruled a mere 2 hrs , all 3600 pages of it, and that as someone had asked, why are these things pushed through at night which affords them little opportunity to review/prepare for the debates.
A number of the CAFTA beneficiaries have what I would deem to be dubious governments at best and entrenched within those powers were the rebels etc.. Can sending industry down there be good considering that they are the have's the people are the have nots and giving them more money would only enhance their political influence in the global arena?

It was heated with short speeches around the table and from what I gathered they decided via unanimous vote (republicans natch.) that the ruling stood, 2 hours only.
Once passed, the right to challenge it would be gone and it would become law.
If something as monumental as a decision that affects the entire nation can be pushed through in spite of a good number of objections, I can just imagine how fast the lesser bills are passed/rushed through.

Case in point, and this was so fast it was kind of anti-climatic, was the ruling about limiting medical malpractice award payments in which one particular representative stated that if a certain state needed to have a cap on its payouts, maybe they should re-train their doctors.
Also stated was the billions of dollars gift the government made to the Insurers, the only business that got a government payout that was making money to begin with, that these insurers were already taking in more money than they were paying out in awards etc.
The Republican Party is for the big businesses obviously and the only thing I took heart in the whole charade was the minority opposition party trying to fight them tooth and nail. They lost (majority rule) but at the very least, many citizens were watching and know what goes on in the echelons of government and maybe next time a majority Democratic rule will be in place. (or independent... if only we knew who would be good for us and all voted for him lol)
Did anyone else see the debates? It kind of had the atmosphere of a rapid-fire let down but it was good to see that there is at least a measure of opposition.
It was an interesting day to say the least and I am kind of anxious to see what tomorrow brings since they are (by todays ruling) only allowed to debate CAFTA for a mere 2 hours. This will be a hot one if you get the chance to watch it.

I might be wrong in my take of todays hearings but it kind of got me thinking about the motivations behind a lot of these representatives and their almost urgency in trying to push CAFTA through. Cited was NAFTA and how there were stipulations that still hadn't been adhered to, namely (I forget the exact term they used) the backdoor payouts(?)
and that NAFTA was afforded 8 hrs to debate.
If I can watch the whole thing I'll give you a breakdown of anything noteworthy although really, it seems like business as usual if a minority has no power to stop it.

[edit on 28-7-2005 by keybored]




posted on Jul, 28 2005 @ 12:53 AM
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sorry, it was passed and I missed it, it was late this evening and not tomorrow as I surmised.... but it was close! 217-215



posted on Jul, 28 2005 @ 01:43 PM
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I don't understand why it was even close! I know it's not an official poll, but according to cnn's poll, 94% of the people didn't want CAFTA!


Poll Results

This is obviously not what the people wanted! Too bad that doesn't matter anymore.



posted on Jul, 28 2005 @ 01:50 PM
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I had trouble comprehending the logic of rushing it through other than the repubs not wanting to have any more swing votes that time would have afforded.



posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 12:09 AM
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Some of the pros I see.

1. Keeps congress from meddling with tariffs as a foreign policy issue.

2. Circumvents the World Trade Org from intervening in Latin America. Euro-lawyers have argued that the old "Monroe Doctrine" excluded Eurofirms from competing in C.A. If we are members of a trade org with Central American states, the Eurostate can't attack us economically without picking on C.A. as well.

3. Keeps mfg. costs down for American companies. (This applies only if you believe America cannot compete financially in mfg any more on a par with China. Which I don't, incedentally.)

4. Even with harsh working conditions, it means more jobs and a relative improvement in life for probably several million Latinos. And Cheaper stuff for us at Target, in its death-match against Walmart!

Cons.

1. Favors Big Business. Nuff said.

2. Moves most of the dirty, gritty work of running our economy down south, where people don't have labor unions, or even the right to vote in meaningful elections. It's pretty hypocritical to talk about how you don't own slaves, when you're swaddled in clothing from a sweatshop.

3. Loss of US (and Latin American) Sovreignty.
It'll be a lot easier to ship a few more tons of llego to the yanqui teenagers when there's a million containers crossing the border on every train. And speaking of sovreignty, how do you sue a company in El Costaragua that sold you tainted heart pills?

4. You can forget about policing the border.

5. Looking at NAFTA, Mexican trucking interests have profited incredibly at the expense of US companies, since they can buy high sulfur content diesel fuel south of the border, and burn it in the US; polluting us and undercutting our firms at the same time!




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