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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Bush Inks Cafta; Thailand, Bahrain Next?

Done and dusted. U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law the Central American Free Trade Agreement (Cafta), following its bumpy ride through the U.S. Congress last week. The House of Representatives passed the legislation by just two votes in the face of strong opposition from Democrats and some Republicans, who thought the pact put U.S. jobs at risk.

(George Bush)

The agreement, though, mostly eliminates tariffs currently imposed on sales of American goods in Central America, opens local markets for U.S. goods and services and makes investment by U.S. companies easier. The president had to make protectionist concessions to the U.S. textile and sugar industries to ensure safe passage, all of which made Cafta look an odd poster boy for free trade.

(US-Bahrain FTA Negotiations in May 2004)

But that was then. As he put ceremonial pen to paper, the president declared Cafta good for the U.S. and said it would "advance peace and pro
sperity" throughout the region. Next up in the patchwork of free-trade deals the multilateral-wary administration is working on: pacts with Bahrain, Thailand and the Andean countries of South America.

Source: Forbes | reBlogged By: News Blog re-Blog
Filed Under: FTA, Bahrain, US, Government | Permalink

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