CAFTA TRACK

CAFTA REPORTS


 

June 1, 2005

CAFTA and Social Security Activists to use Break to Press Issues – After the House’s eight-week marathon and the Senate’s nearly radioactive debate over judges, lawmakers who are looking forward to going home and reconnecting with their constituents are unlikely to find relief from the host of issues they left behind in Washington. Groups that for weeks lobbied members on Capitol Hill intend to use the one-week “district work period” to press their positions on Social Security, trade, energy, asbestos, transportation funding and others. Bill Miller, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce vice president of public policy, said the period between Memorial Day and the August recess is a critical “window of time” for legislation. He said the Chamber will use this recess to promote CAFTA before members return to Washington’s hectic pace. Both sides of the Social Security debate, which produced numerous “town hall” style events in the previous two breaks, have narrowed their efforts this recess to specific lawmakers who are undecided or noncommittal.


June 13. 2005

CAFTA effect on consumers would be small – (Washington Times) Congress tomorrow is set to begin debate on the Central American Free Trade Agreement.

President Bush wants it ratified. Former President Jimmy Carter is pushing for passage, too. Meanwhile, labor unions and sugar growers have lined up against the trade pact, and House Democrats remain skeptical.


July 9, 2005 CAFTA Battle Rages in Congress – The Central American Free Trade Agreement would not only destroy more U.S. jobs and businesses, but undermine our sovereignty. Those who claim otherwise need only to read the agreement.


The pro-CAFTA people can no longer deny that CAFTA = global governance and NOT what the GOVERNMENT calls “free trade” which is NOT free trade but managed trade.

You can censor THE TRUTH if you want. At your own peril.

Please call your reps. Numbers to be found at http://www.house.gov Do not email.

One point you might wish to make in you argument is make him aware if he is not that Section 6 of CAFTA would require the USA to form a Sanitary Phytosanitary Measures Committee for the purpose of insuring that we entered into a constant process of harmonizing our laws under the terms of the SPS Agreement in the WTO.

Tell him that Article 3 of the WTO’s SPS Agreement requires us to harmonize our food safety laws (read DSHEA) to Codex standards. It states “To harmonize sanitary and phytosanitary measures on as wide a basis as possible, Members SHALL base their food safety measures on international standards, guidelines or recommendations.” (Codex sets the standards for food safety, including vitamins and minerals.)


July 12, 2005

Ron Paul on CAFTA

“It is absurd to believe that CAFTA and other trade agreements do not diminish American sovereignty. When we grant quasi-governmental international bodies the power to make decisions about American trade rules, we lose sovereignty plain, and simple. “

“CAFTA

also imposes the International Labor Organization’s manifesto, which could have been written by Karl Marx, on American business…”

“CAFTA means more government! Like the UN, NAFTA, and the WTO, it represents another stone in the foundation of a global government system. Most Americans already understand they are governed by largely unaccountable forces in Washington, yet now they face having their domestic laws influenced by bureaucrats in Brussels, Zurich, or Mexico City.”

“CAFTA and other international trade agreements do not represent free trade. Free trade occurs in the absence of government interference in the flow of goods, while CAFTA represents more government in the form of an international body.”


July 13, 2005

Letter to the Senator:

In a recent email notice from the only slightly lesser Senator from Tennessee (Lamar Alexander), he stated that:

“According the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), commonly referred to as the “Nation’s Report Card,” fewer students have just a basic understanding of American history than have a basic understanding of any other subject which we test – including math, science, and reading. When you look at the national report card, American history is our children’s worst subject.”

And I do believe that he may be correct since his own understanding of both history and the Constitution appears lacking. In April of 1983, a special presidential commission on education issued an alarming report entitled A Nation at Risk. The grim reality of America’s precipitous educational decline was revealed in a litany of disturbing failures. The report found that “some 23 million American adults are functionally illiterate” and in addition pointed out that “about 13 percent of all 17-year-olds in the United States can be considered functionally illiterate.” The unsettling report also took note of the fact that SAT tests “demonstrate a virtually unbroken decline from 1963 to 1980.” Based on their findings, the authors of the report opined, “if an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war….” The most expensive educational system the world has ever seen stood exposed as a colossal failure. All concerned admitted that simply throwing more money at the crisis, enacting more legislation, centralizing control, and engaging in more rounds of phony “reform” would not provide genuine solutions to the looming catastrophe. But in the immediate aftermath of A Nation at Risk, and in the years that followed, that is precisely what happened. The results have been as predictable as they have been disastrous. The “dumbing down” of America has continued apace — and, in some respects, has accelerated. Our nation is more at risk now than ever before. Incredibly, Lamar threatens to make matters even worse by plunging us ever deeper into the abyss, with new spending, legislating, centralizing, and reforming. The new Lamar education plan; the  American History Achievement Act gives the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) the authority to administer a 10-state pilot study of the NAEP test in U.S. history in 2006. They already have that authority for reading, math, science and writing. This is a blueprint for vastly expanding this already gargantuan debacle. Aside from the very important fact that the Constitution, which the Senator took an oath to uphold, provides no authority whatsoever for any federal government involvement in education (and, by way of the 10th Amendment, expressly prohibits the same), there is the inescapable reality that federal intervention in all things educational has been an unmitigated disaster. No amount of wishful thinking will render the education schemes that Senator Alexander presents any less calamitous. So I decided to zip a note to the Senator and while I was at it I thought I might educate him on his CAFTA vote:

After many years of listening to the dribble that you have spouted off as the Governor of Tennessee and as Senator of this good state, I have decided that whatever you have to say must be inherently bad for Tennessee as well as our country.

In recent months you have approved legislation that not only flies in the face of the constitutional freedoms provided us by God and interpreted in the Constitution but at the same time you espouse some knowledge of historical educational. It appears that the lessons of both Constitutional history and Accounting have failed you in a most dramatic way.

The REAL ID Act, signed into law by George W. Bush on May 11, created our country’s first national identification card. The measure imposes federal standards on state driver’s licenses, and creates a huge central identification database — which will be shared by the governments of Mexico and Canada. The law also “gives authority to the Secretary of Homeland Security to unilaterally add requirements as he sees fit. Those requirements, in short order, will probably involve the use of “biometric identifiers,” such as retinal scans.

Appropriately, the REAL ID measure was attached to the war supplemental spending bill.

Second; deaf to the appeals of farmers, manufacturers, and workers who have been devastated by previous trade agreements, and indifferent to the growing danger these pacts pose to U.S. sovereignty, you caved in to White House threats and bribes, by voting with other Senators and approving the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) on June 30, by a vote of 54 to 45.

(Historical note: Nearly 50 years ago, John Foster Dulles, secretary of state under President Dwight Eisenhower, asserted that “treaty law can override the Constitution. Treaties, for example … can cut across the rights given the people by their constitutional Bill of Rights.” Leaving aside the fact that the Constitution and Bill of Rights protect rights, rather than grant them, Dulles’ calculated misrepresentation of the treaty-making power serves as a timely warning today, as a globalist political elite tirelessly promotes treaties and conventions that imperil long-cherished American freedoms.)

“I assure you that I will not vote again for a traitor to his own country or a man that abandons liberty for security.”

A little more history: The “Supremacy Clause” of the U.S. Constitution is contained in Article VI:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

As the Constitution was being constructed at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, the experience of the previous few years made it abundantly clear that it was essential to establish the central government’s power to conduct foreign affairs. It was necessary that the United States speak with one voice in matters of international diplomacy. To have 13 individual and separate states each conducting its own foreign policy, making its own treaties and sending and receiving its own ambassadors would have been an invitation to chaos; to have 50 states doing so today would be the quintessence of insanity. But the powers delegated to the federal government to conduct foreign affairs — including the treaty-making power — are carefully limited and checked by the Constitution. The Framers did not present the federal government with vast, unenumerated, or unaccountable powers in either domestic or foreign policy. It was certainly never intended, as Dulles and others of his ilk insist, that the federal government could use the treaty-making power to evade constitutional limits upon its powers. And it is the purest absurdity to believe that statesmen who had just wrested our nation’s independence from a globe-spanning empire would create a treaty-making provision through which our independence could be signed away. Addressing the scope and limits of the Constitution’s treaty power, James Madison — often described as the father of the Constitution — said the following:

I do not conceive that power is given to the President and the Senate to dismember the empire, or alienate any great, essential right. I do not think the whole legislative authority have this power. The exercise of the power must be consistent with the object of the delegation.

Thomas Jefferson emphatically agreed with Madison’s depiction of the limits placed upon the treaty power. If the treaty-making power is “boundless,” warned Jefferson, “then we have no Constitution.” On another occasion, Jefferson elaborated:

By the general power to make treaties, the Constitution must have intended to comprehend only those objects which are usually regulated by treaty, and cannot be otherwise regulated…. It must have meant to except out of those the rights reserved to the states; for surely the President and Senate cannot do by treaty what the whole government is interdicted from doing in any way.

Alexander Hamilton was in perfect agreement with both Madison and Jefferson. “The only constitutional exception to the power of making treaties is, that it shall not change the Constitution…. On natural principles, a treaty, which should manifestly betray or sacrifice primary interests of the state, would be null.” The observations of Jefferson and Hamilton are particularly valuable in light of the danger posed by a treaty agreement like CAFTA. Since the president and Senate are strictly and explicitly forbidden by the Constitution to deny the protections and immunities guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, they have no authority to conclude a treaty that would have the same result. To paraphrase Hamilton, any such treaty signed by the president and ratified by the Senate would, on “natural principles,” be null and void.


July 22. 2005 CAFTA On June 23, 2005 President Bush sent the CAFTA agreement to Congress. Under the terms of Trade Promotion Authority, Congress now has 90 days to approve or reject CAFTA as is, with no amendments permitted. On June 30 the Senate approved CAFTA by a vote of 54 to 45. The House is expected to vote on CAFTA in mid- to late-July. For those in Tennessee, you may be wondering what position your Representative has on CAFTA. I will be reporting my reactions from the representatives across the great state of Tennessee on Sunday.


July 24, 2005 CAFTA – Free Trade or Hey Dear, We could move to Brazil The Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement, more commonly known as DR-CAFTA, is a free trade agreement being negotiated as of June 2005. As CAFTA, the treaty originally encompassed the United States and the Central American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In 2005, the Dominican Republic joined the negotations, and treaty became known as DR-CAFTA. Bordering Central American nations not in the treaty include Belize and Panama on the mainland, Haiti which is on the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, and with Cuba. Panama is currently in negotiations with the U. S. on a bilateral Free Trade Agreement, and Belize is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Haiti was given certain trade preferences with the U. S. under the Haiti Economic Recovery Opportunity Act of 2003 (HERO Act). The United States Senate approved the DR-CAFTA agreement on June 30, 2005 by a vote of 54-45…less than the Constitutional 2/3rds majority required for approval of a formal treaty. Overlooking the Constitutional deficiencies of the process, for DR-CAFTA to be considered law, it still must be approved in the United States House and ratified by the legislatures of the other parties to the agreement. A vote in the US House has been delayed by proponents of the agreement as they have yet to obtain the 218 votes necessary for passage. Tremendous political pressure is being applied to achieve a vote by the August recess. On July 15, President Bush made a special visit to the Charlotte, North Carolina area to stump for the agreement. Among the 19 House members in the Carolinas only one, Republican Sue Myrick of Charlotte has announced a decision to vote for DR-CAFTA. [[1] July 15, 2005 (Dallas, NC) Opponents make their point during Bush speech on CAFTA}] Aims The goal of the agreement is the creation of a free trade zone, similar to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which currently encompasses the US, Canada, and Mexico. DR-CAFTA is also seen as a stepping stone towards the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), another, more ambitious free trade agreement which would encompass South American and Caribbean nations (with the exception of Cuba) as well. Canada is negotiating a similar treaty called the Canada Central American Free Trade Agreement. If passed by the congresses of the United States and the countries involved, tariffs on about 80% of US imports to the participating countries will be eliminated immediately and the rest will be phased out over the subsequent decade. Due to the U.S. Government’s Caribbean Basin Initiative, the vast majority of goods produced in the participating countries already enter the United States duty-free. As a result, it is important to note that the DR-CAFTA’s implementation would not require substantial reductions in U.S. import duties with respect to the other countries participating in the agreement. With the addition of the Dominican Republic, the largest economy in the region, the region covered by DR-CAFTA is the US’s second-largest Latin American export market, behind only Mexico, buying $15 billion U.S. dollars of goods a year. Two-way trade amounts to about USD$32 billion. While not necessarily a part of Plan Puebla Panama, CAFTA is a necessary precursor to the execution of Plan Puebla Panama by the Inter-American Development Bank. The plan includes construction of highways linking Panama City to Mexico City and on to Texas and the rest of the United States. While DR-CAFTA will reduce tariffs collected at vanishing borders, it remains unclear whether overall taxes ultimately paid by workers and consumers will decrease. Support and backing US President George W. Bush announced in January 2002 that CAFTA is a top priority for his administration, and Congress gave his administration “fast track” authority to negotiate it. Negotiations began in January 2003, and agreement was reached with El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua on December 17, 2003, and with Costa Rica on January 25, 2004, and in that month, negotiations began with the Dominican Republic to join CAFTA. On February 20, 2004, President Bush informed Congress of his support for CAFTA. On May 28, 2004, United States Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, Costa Rican Minister of Trade Alberto Trejos, El Salvadoran Minister of the Economy Miguel Lacayo, Guatemalan Minister of the Economy Marcio Cuevas, Honduran Minister of Industry and Commerce Norman Garcìa, and Nicaraguan Minister of Development, Industry and Commerce Mario Arana signed the 2,400-page document at headquarters of the Organization of American States. Negotiations with the Dominican Republic concluded on March 15, 2004, and a second signing ceremony including Dominican Republic Minister of Industry and Commerce Sonia Guzman was held on August 5, 2004. Because of the lack of popular support, plus the opposition of civil society, many activist groups, left-wing political parties, and unions in Central America, DR-CAFTA is seen as a critical step towards FTAA (which also lacks popular support) by its backers, since imported and exported goods passing to and from the rest of Latin America will have to travel through this region. Without the participation of these countries, FTAA will be next to impossible. Robert Zoellick and corporate backers such as the National Association of Wheat Growers claim the agreement will open new markets to American manufacturers, and help the Central American nations modernize their economies, create worker rights protections that will enforce and improve labor laws, and improve environmental standards. DR-CAFTA is endorsed by the U.S. High-Tech Trade Coalition, fifty-two food and agriculture organizations, Microsoft, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Foreign Trade Council, Citizens Against Government Waste, the Heritage Foundation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and several Central American environmental organizations including Caribbean Conservation Corporation, Global Alliance for Humane Sustainable Development, and the Honduran Ecologist Network for Sustainable Development. Opposition and resistance Public Citizen, the US advocacy group founded by Ralph Nader, says DR-CAFTA is based on the same “failed neoliberal model” as NAFTA and serves to “push ahead the corporate globalization model that has caused the ‘race to the bottom’ in labor and environmental standards and promotes privatization and deregulation of key public services.” Public Citizen claims that independent farmers in America, Canada and Mexico have been hit particularly hard by NAFTA, with thousands wiped out and farmland shifting into the hands of huge agrobusiness concerns such as Tyson and Cargill; the group fears DR-CAFTA will have same effect in Central America. Many US environmental groups are opposed to the agreement, including the Sierra Club, EnviroCitizen and the Safe Earth Alliance. In May, 2004, the Salvadoran American National Network, the largest national association of Central American community-based organizations, along with other organizations representing Central American immigrants, expressed its opposition to CAFTA, saying:

Our opposition to CAFTA is not ideological. As immigrants, we have a deep understanding of the potential benefits of improved transnational cooperation. We would welcome an agreement that would increase economic opportunity, protect our shared environment, guarantee workers’ rights and acknowledge the role of human mobility in deepening the already profound ties between our countries. However, the CAFTA agreement falls far short of that vision. [2]

CAFTA also faces opposition due to provisions outlining “test data exclusivity” for pharmaceuticals. This provision applies when a pharmaceutical company submits test data to a regulatory agency to prove that its medicine is safe and effective. “Test data exclusivity” would forbid other, smaller companies from reusing this test data to create low-cost, generic versions of the drug. Producing test data is expensive, and smaller companies generally require the reuse of test data to produce low-cost, generic medications. In practice, “test data exclusivity” would ensure that U.S. companies would hold an effective market monopoly on various medicines, such as those used to treat AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. Critics charge that this provision would prevent many poor people from receiving life-saving medications. More information can be found at this link (PDF) According to [3] and the documentary by Kevin P. Miller narrated by Dame Judi Dench, DR-CAFTA will obligate the signers to adopt the United Nation’s Codex Alimentarius. This will override 1994 DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act), making vitamin and dietary supplements prescription items fully regulated by authorities such as the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acting as regional agents of the United Nations’ Codex Alimentarius Commission [4]. The transfer of authority contained in CAFTA to various supranational and United Nations entities such as CODEX, WTO, and the International Labour Organization (ILO) is in fact a key reason CAFTA has yet to gain approval in the Republican controlled United States House. While globalization minded Republicans in the Bush Administration have been pushing hard to pass CAFTA they have not been able to rally to their side key Republican members of the House who are opposing CAFTA on the grounds of preserving national sovereignty [5]. The CAFTA battle over defending US national sovereignty from the encroachments of un-elected and unaccountable administrators of the United Nations has been championed by the long-time opponent of the UN The John Birch Society. Given the current turbulence surrounding the global trading system, CAFTA presents a unique opportunity to reinvigorate the process of coming to an understanding as to what the exact definitions of peaceful and equitable free trade really are. Depending on which side of the debate one considers, the passage or defeat of CAFTA will send a signal of cooperation and economic freedom to the rest of the world. Such an understanding may prove to be critical if we are to avoid the market interventions and instability that created the conditions for international conflicts such as the second World War. True free trade based on the voluntary exchange of goods and services between willing trading partners throughout the chain of economic activity has shown itself to be the most reliable process for advancing the physical condition and personal freedom of the human species. The outcome of the Central American Free Trade agreement, may well determine whose definition of freedom will prevail. DR-CAFTA encompasses the following components:

  • Services: all public services are to be open to private investment.
  • Investment: governments promise to grant ironclad guarantees to foreign investment.
  • Government procurement: All government purchases must be open to transnational bids.
  • Market access: governments pledge to reduce and eventually to eliminate tariffs and other measures that protect domestic products.
  • Agriculture: duty-free import and elimination of subsidies on agricultural products.
  • Intellectual property rights: privatization of and monopoly over technological know-how.
  • Antidumping rules, subsidies and countervailing rights: governments commit to phase out protectionist barriers in all sectors.
  • Competition policy: the dismantling of national monopolies.
  • Dispute resolution: the right of transnationals to sue countries in private international courts.
  • Environmental protection: the enforcement of environmental laws and improvement of the environment.
  • Labor standards: the enforcment of the International Labour Organization‘s core labor standards.
  • Transparency: the reduction of government corruption.
  • Test-Data Exclusivity for pharmaceutical corporations

July 25, 2005 CAFTA talking points;

  • In his July 15 address at Gaston College in Dallas, North Carolina, President Bush presented the Central American Free Trade Agreement as a vital element of his anti-terrorism campaign. By doing so, he tacitly conceded a point made by The New American last June 3: The CAFTA agreement is not a free trade pact in any sense, but rather a foreign aid program for Central American governments Washington seeks to draw into a regional political bloc.
  • Any rational analysis of the CAFTA region will demonstrate that it simply isn’t a significant potential market for U.S. exports. It is, however, a huge potential export market for low-wage labor, and would prove to be an irresistible magnet drawing manufacturing jobs away from the U.S.
  • The Center for Security Policy (CSP), a Beltway neo-“conservative” think-tank devoted to maintaining an interventionist foreign policy, has admitted to all of these unpleasant facts. “The truth of the matter is that the CAFTA region … accounts for an almost imperceptible fraction of U.S. trade,” acknowledges the CSP. “Most dollars going to Central America are spent on consumer goods chiefly made in Japan, Korea and China. The United States does not compete appreciably with the region’s main indigenous exports – coffee, cacao, cane sugar and banana production.”
  • Previewing the arguments made by Mr. Bush in his July 15 speech, the CSP asserted that “the consideration that should trump all others is the fact that CAFTA will contribute to America’s national security – and its defeat would significantly and adversely affect our security interests in the region and beyond.” This would mean that we should “stop penalizing our friends,” instead rewarding them through concessionary trade agreements as a form of disguised foreign aid – at whatever cost to U.S. agricultural and manufacturing interests.
  • Political analysts who see the U.S. mutating into an empire “assume that empire is the only model for a state seeking to project power and influence — ignoring the alternatives from the business world,” writes UCLA professor Richard Rosecrance in the Summer 2005 issue of The National Interest. Rosecrance, senior fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center and (predictably) a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, declares that multinational “merger” is a sensible alternative to unilateral hegemony and its attendant costs. If a company “reaches the limits of its economic market, it may consider a merger with like-minded companies to cope with a competitor,” states Rosecrance in his essay “Mergers and Acquisitions.” “States [that is, nation-states] reaching the limits of their viability as self-sufficient actors can adopt merger strategies, too. Indeed, to preserve its global influence throughout the course of the 21st century, this is a path the United States must consider.”That’s right: to be viable as a global power, the U.S. must abandon its independence, according to Rosecrance.
  • Ron Paul on the CODEX Provision in CAFTA – Ron Paul discusses the dangerous CODEX provision included in the final Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) draft. CAFTA is expected to come up for a House vote within the next two weeks. If passed, CAFTA could restrict and/or ban dietary supplements in the United States.
  • Where They Stand On CAFTA – Liberty Committee submitted by Jackie Juntti.

July 26, 2005 CAFTA Supporters Gain Some Votes – WASHINGTON – Supporters of the Central American Free Trade Agreement on Monday picked up votes from several textile-state Republicans, but were still hedging on whether they would have a majority when the trade deal comes up for a vote in the House. Stay tuned to this spot for CAFTA update.


July 27, 2005 In a special report on the present legislative positions of Tennessee representatives in the House of Representatives on the issue of CAFTA previous reported on here and here. Make no mistake. The government economic central planners like to call it “free trade”, but there’s no mistaking managed trade. This is highly critical in understanding who we have representing us in Washington D.C., and how wrong they are. Read it and weep, then get mad and take action on this. How much longer will the YOU be silent? Previous Trade Packages and How they Voted

  1. NAFTA. This bill (H.R. 3450) implemented the mis-named North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), creating a minimum of 33 new international commissions, committees, secretariats and sub-groups to oversee future North American trade. Passage of NAFTA represented the biggest giveaway of U.S. sovereignty in more than 40 years. The House passed this legislation on November 17, 1993 (Roll Call 575) by a vote of 234 to 200, with the Republicans voting 132-43 and the Democrats 102-156. We have assigned pluses to the”nays” and minuses to the “yeas.”
  2. GATT/WTO. This legislation (H.R. 5110) implement-ed the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), a global trade compact that established the World Trade Organization (WTO) bureaucracy. The House ap-proved this legislation during a lame-duck session on November 29, 1994 (Roll Call 507) by a vote of 288 to 146, with the Republicans voting 121-56 and the Democrats 167-89. We have assigned pluses to the “nays” and minuses to the “yeas.”
  3. WTO Withdrawal. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) offered this measure (House Joint Resolution 90) to withdraw the United States from the World Trade Organization. The House rejected Paul’s resolution on June 21, 2000 (Roll Call 310) by a vote of 56-363, with the Republicans voting 33-182 and the Democrats 21-181. We have assigned pluses to the “yeas” and minuses to the “nays.”
  4. Trade Promotion Authority. This legislation (the conference report on H.R. 3009) gave President Bush Trade Pro-motion Authority (TPA), formerly known as “fast track,” for congressional consideration of trade agreements reached before June 1, 2005. Under fast track, Congress cannot amend trade agreements, but must either accept or reject the entire agreement. The House adopted this legislation on July 27, 2002 (Roll Call 370) by a vote of 215 to 212, with the Republicans voting 190-27 and the Democrats 25-183. We have assigned pluses to the “nays” and minuses to the “yeas.”
  5. U.S.-Singapore Trade. This bill (H.R. 2739) implemented a trade agreement to reduce tariffs and trade barriers between the United States and Singapore. The House passed H.R. 2739 on July 24, 2003 (Roll Call 432) by a vote of 272 to 155, with the Republicans voting 197-27 and the Democrats 75-127. We have assigned pluses to the “nays” and minuses to the “yeas.”
  6. U.S.-Chile Trade. This bill (H.R. 2738) implemented a trade agreement to reduce tariffs and trade barriers between the United States and Chile. The House passed H.R. 2738 on July 24, 2003 (Roll Call 436) by a vote of 270 to 156, with the Re-publicans voting 195-27 and the Democrats 75-128. We have assigned pluses to the “nays” and minuses to the “yeas.”

Tennessee – United States House of Representatives

JenkinsR—-02DuncanR-+++++833WampRÂÂ+—254Davis, L.D–05CooperD––06Gordon, B.D—+++507BlackburnR–08TannerD——09FordD—-0

District Name Party 1 2 3 4 5 6 Percent
1

My conversations with the offices of William Jenkins, Jim Cooper, Bart Gordon, John Duncan, Zach Wamp, Lincoln Davis were practically the same. “They are weighing the issues on both sides and at this point were undecided.” It was like a broken record. So instead of trusting the communications office of these representatives, I starting looking through the files, the voting records, the newsletters that each have published for some time and created a trend. Positions on CAFTA District 1 – William Jenkins R His political career at age 25 as a member of the Tennessee General Assembly, Jenkins served as State Representative for Hawkins, Hancock, and Grainger counties. In 1969, Jenkins served as Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives. To this day, he holds the distinction of being the only Republican to hold that office in this century. Jenkins owns and operates a family farm with beef cattle and burley tobacco. A strong advocate for economic development and protection of our natural resources, Jenkins is a former Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Conservation and served as a policy advisor on energy and legislative issues to former Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander. In 1971, Jenkins was appointed by President Richard Nixon to serve as one of the three members of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s board of directors. He also formerly served as a director of Home Federal Savings and Loan of Upper East Tennessee. As a farmer, I believe that he thinks and with tobacco and meat products, that it would open markets up to export in agricultural areas. I also believe that Rep. Jenkins will exchange his vote to insure a future issue. Jenkins will vote YES on CAFTA. District 2 – John Duncan R In Duncan’s latest newsletter he stated “With slightly less than four percent of the world’s population, we buy almost 25% of the world’s goods. Thus, every nation wants into the U.S. market, and we have tremendous economic leverage we have not used.” He also stated that it did appear that the United States would not leave the WTO anytime soon. (Much to his chagrin, I suspect.) Since his yes vote for NAFTA, John Duncan has voted in opposition to every trade deal since that time. His batting record tells the tail. I predict a NO vote on CAFTA. District 3 – Zach Wamp R Representative Wamp has been making great strides in becoming an internationalist since voting against the joining of the WTO in 1994. Last month the congresscritter Wamp welcomed the Prime Minister of Vietnam to Tennessee industry. Vietnam has applied to join the World Trade Organization, and Wamp “told the crowd that Vietnam will build a stronger economic relationship with the U.S.”…. His website’s first topic says Thinking Global. I suspect he has changed his ways since 1994. My prediction is Zach Wamp will vote yes for CAFTA. District 4 – Lincoln Davis D A member of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally conservative House Democrats along with U. S. Representative John Tanner and like John Tanner he is always seeking ways to have the government investment in roads, waste systems, business development, tourism, and the like will help make our small communities more competitive with larger urban areas. This is Lincoln Davis’s way building government and providing jobs. My prediction: Lincoln Davis will follow his blue dog compatriot and vote in favor of CAFTA. District 5 – Jim Cooper D A true wimp of a Democrat, I view a YES vote on CAFTA. District 6 – Bart Gordon D In some way I like this guy, he is a true Democratic and appears to stand on principle rather than party line politics. His style is less opposing and he votes on the issues with his head. A predict a NO vote on CAFTA. District 7 – Marsha Blackburn R From the Blackburn Report Dated Friday, July 15, 2000

This week I traveled down Pennsylvania Avenue to talk with the President and Vice President about several issues on the legislative agenda.

 Anytime you have the opportunity to bend the President’s ear, you take it. So I made a point of discussing our need to extend the Federal Sales Tax deduction beyond 2006, tackle illegal immigration, and reduce federal spending. Â

We also discussed the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). This trade agreement has split many communities, with farmers generally in support and those concerned with illegal immigration concerned it may make things worse. I shared with the President my belief that many people want to hear more about what CAFTA will actually do, and not just that we should support it.

Although I like Marsha and her staff is top notch, I think she will bend with the will of the party leaders on this issue as she has on the two previous votes on the Chile and Singapore trade agreements before them. My Guess, she will support the agreement. District 8 – John Tanner D John is a simple read…. he is as he will always be an internationalist. He has gratefully served in positions that have served the United Nations in the past and will do so as long as we can stand him in office. Secondly he has caved in, no wrong, because to cave would mean he would have had a position that he could have caved in on….. A yes vote will come from John. District 9 – Harold Ford Jr. D

“As I weigh the merits of CAFTA, I am concerned that we are ignoring the real challenge facing the American economy — creating businesses and jobs. We should not exacerbate the disadvantage faced by American small business owners and workers. The playing field is not even. For instance, China has manipulated the value of its currency by tying its value to the dollar. Even with today’s announcement by the Chinese government that it will change its policy to peg its currency to a basket of currencies, the result is only a slight change in its value against the dollar. And by continuing to insulate the Chinese current from free market forces, it still creates a tremendous advantage for China. Further, they set quotas for the entry of many of our goods. It is unfair for the American worker and entrepreneur.

“Finally, we need to do two more things on our end. First, we need to lower taxes on small businesses in this country struggling to pay for health insurance, comply with federal regulations and make a profit in the process. Remember, our companies are competing on a world stage.Â

“And last, our long-term strategy to educate workers and entrepreneurs is lacking. China and India, along with the rest of Asia, graduate more than 8 times the number of engineers we graduate in this country each year. We can’t compete in the future with this mismatch occurring between the U.S. and Asia.Â

“In short, we need some better answers than just trade agreements.”

My Guess Ford votes for (he is an internationalist by education) the passage of this bill.


July 28, 2005 US House passes Central American trade pact – WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly approved a free-trade agreement with Central America on Thursday, handing President Bush a hard-fought victory in difficult times for efforts to expand global trade. The Republican-controlled House voted 217-215 in favor of the U.S.-Central American Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA, after a final push by Bush and top aides to win over many reluctant Republicans. Only 15 of the House’s 202 Democrats backed CAFTA, and 27 Republicans opposed it…… Â U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman (news, bio, voting record) said he would take the next flight to Geneva to discuss how to revitalize World Trade Organization talks on a new global deal.


So how well do I do in guessing the results from our Tennessee representatives

District 1 – William Jenkins R – I predicted Jenkins would vote YES on CAFTA. I was correct.

District 2 – John Duncan R – I predicted a NO vote on CAFTA. I was incorrect.

District 3 – Zach Wamp R – I predicted Rep. Wamp would vote yes for CAFTA. I was correct.

District 4 – Lincoln Davis D – My prediction was that Lincoln Davis will follow his blue dog compatriot, John Tanner and vote in favor of CAFTA. I was incorrect.

District 5 – Jim Cooper D – I viewed a YES vote on CAFTA. I was correct.

District 6 – Bart Gordon D – I predicted a NO vote on CAFTA. I was correct.

District 7 – Marsha Blackburn R – My guess was she will support the agreement. I was correct.

District 8 – John Tanner D – A yes vote will come from John. I was correct.

District 9 – Harold Ford Jr. D – I had guessed that Ford would vote for the passage of this bill. I was incorrect.

6 correct – 3 incorrect or 67%. Surprises: Duncan While I guessed Lincoln Davis and Harold Ford Jr. incorrectly, I knew that these two could have gone either way because their choice would have been based on political gain, not right or wrong, constitutional or not, but what they might actually receive in return for the vote as far as political positioning. Duncan though unpredictably moved away completely from his normal voting pattern as well as his normal political stance on international trade. As he is a believer in fair trade, his stance toward a smaller, constitutional based government has always been his main driving force. Last night he took a U turn and I do not know why.


FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 443 (Republicans in roman; Democrats in italic; Independents underlined)

H R 3045Â Â Â Â Â Â RECORDED VOTEÂ Â Â Â Â Â 28-Jul-2005Â Â Â Â Â Â 12:03 AM

BILL TITLE:Â Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act

 Ayes Noes NV
Republican 202 27 2
Democratic 15 187 Â
Independent  1 Â
TOTALS 217 215 1

Ayes

Aderholt Akin Alexander Bachus Baker Barrett (SC) Bartlett (MD) Barton (TX) Bass Bean Beauprez Biggert Bilirakis Bishop (UT) Blackburn Blunt Boehlert Boehner Bonilla Bonner Bono Boozman Bradley (NH) Brady (TX) Brown (SC) Brown-Waite, Ginny Burgess Burton (IN) Buyer Calvert Camp Cannon Cantor Carter Castle Chabot Chocola Cole (OK) Conaway Cooper Cox Crenshaw Cuellar Culberson Cunningham Davis (KY) Davis, Tom Deal (GA) DeLay Dent Diaz-Balart, L. Diaz-Balart, M. Dicks Doolittle Drake Dreier Duncan Ehlers Emerson English (PA) Everett Feeney Ferguson Fitzpatrick (PA) Flake Foley Forbes Fortenberry Fossella Franks (AZ) Frelinghuysen Gallegly Gerlach Gibbons Gilchrest Gillmor Gingrey Gohmert Goodlatte Granger Graves Green (WI) Hall Harris Hart Hastert Hastings (WA) Hayes Hayworth Hefley Hensarling Herger Hinojosa Hobson Hoekstra Hulshof Hyde Inglis (SC) Issa Istook Jefferson Jenkins Johnson (CT) Johnson (IL) Johnson, Sam Keller Kelly Kennedy (MN) King (IA) King (NY) Kingston Kirk Kline Knollenberg Kolbe Kuhl (NY) LaHood Latham LaTourette Leach Lewis (CA) Lewis (KY) Linder Lucas Lungren, Daniel E. Manzullo Marchant Matheson McCaul (TX) McCrery McKeon McMorris Meeks (NY) Mica Miller (FL) Miller, Gary Moore (KS) Moran (KS) Moran (VA) Murphy Musgrave Myrick Neugebauer Northup Nunes Nussle Ortiz Osborne Oxley Pearce Pence Peterson (PA) Petri Pickering Pitts Platts Poe Pombo Porter Price (GA) Pryce (OH) Putnam Radanovich Ramstad Regula Reichert Renzi Reynolds Rogers (AL) Rogers (KY) Rogers (MI) Rohrabacher Ros-Lehtinen Royce Ryan (WI) Ryun (KS) Saxton Schwarz (MI) Sensenbrenner Sessions Shadegg Shaw Shays Sherwood Shimkus Shuster Skelton Smith (TX) Snyder Sodrel Souder Stearns Sullivan Sweeney Tanner Terry Thomas Thornberry Tiahrt Tiberi Towns Turner Upton Walden (OR) Walsh Wamp Weldon (FL) Weldon (PA) Weller Westmoreland Whitfield Wicker Wilson (NM) Wilson (SC) Wolf Young (AK) Young (FL)

Nays

Abercrombie Ackerman Allen Andrews Baca Baird Baldwin Barrow Becerra Berkley Berman Berry Bishop (GA) Bishop (NY) Blumenauer Boren Boswell Boucher Boustany Boyd Brady (PA) Brown (OH) Brown, Corrine Butterfield Capito Capps Capuano Cardin Cardoza Carnahan Carson Case Chandler Clay Cleaver Clyburn Coble Conyers Costa Costello Cramer Crowley Cubin Cummings Davis (AL) Davis (CA) Davis (FL) Davis (IL) Davis (TN) DeFazio DeGette Delahunt DeLauro Dingell Doggett Doyle Edwards Emanuel Engel Eshoo Etheridge Evans Farr Fattah Filner Ford Foxx Frank (MA) Garrett (NJ) Gonzalez Goode Gordon Green, Al Green, Gene Grijalva Gutierrez Gutknecht Harman Hastings (FL) Herseth Higgins Hinchey Holden Holt Honda Hooley Hostettler Hoyer Hunter Inslee Israel Jackson (IL) Jackson-Lee (TX) Jindal Johnson, E. B. Jones (NC) Jones (OH) Kanjorski Kaptur Kennedy (RI) Kildee Kilpatrick (MI) Kind Kucinich Langevin Lantos Larsen (WA) Larson (CT) Lee Levin Lewis (GA) Lipinski LoBiondo Lofgren, Zoe Lowey Lynch Mack Maloney Markey Marshall Matsui McCarthy McCollum (MN) McCotter McDermott McGovern McHenry McHugh McIntyre McKinney McNulty Meehan Meek (FL) Melancon Menendez Michaud Millender-McDonald Miller (MI) Miller (NC) Miller, George Mollohan Moore (WI) Murtha Nadler Napolitano Neal (MA) Ney Norwood Oberstar Obey Olver Otter Owens Pallone Pascrell Pastor Paul Payne Pelosi Peterson (MN) Pomeroy Price (NC) Rahall Rangel Rehberg Reyes Ross Rothman Roybal-Allard Ruppersberger Rush Ryan (OH) Sabo Salazar Sánchez, Linda T. Sanchez, Loretta Sanders Schakowsky Schiff Schwartz (PA) Scott (GA) Scott (VA) Serrano Sherman Simmons Simpson Slaughter Smith (NJ) Smith (WA) Solis Spratt Stark Strickland Stupak Tancredo Tauscher Taylor (MS) Thompson (CA) Thompson (MS) Tierney Udall (CO) Udall (NM) Van Hollen Velázquez Visclosky Wasserman Schultz Waters Watson Watt Waxman Weiner Wexler Woolsey Wu Wynn

Not Voting

Davis, Jo Ann Taylor (NC)

July 29, 2005

Additional CAFTA reading: The Hidden Pages of CAFTA – forwarded by Jackie Juntti.


With CAFTA the topic of my site today, Capitol Reader is offering readers a free nine page summary of CAFTA and Free Trade: What Every American Should Know by Greg Spotts.


Representative Zach Wamp’s comments on his CAFTA vote. It’s obvious that Representative Wamp has still not read the Constitution or more likely thinks that the document is outdated and needs help.

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