Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein

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Hafta Pass CAFTA

Score one for the free market.

The House narrowly approved the Central American Free Trade Agreement early Thursday, a personal triumph for President Bush, who campaigned aggressively for the accord he said would foster prosperity and democracy in the hemisphere.

The 217-215 vote just after midnight adds six Latin American countries to the growing lists of nations with free trade agreements with the United States and averts what could have been a major political embarrassment for the Bush administration.

It was an uphill effort to win a majority, with Bush traveling to Capitol Hill earlier in the day to appeal to wavering Republicans to support a deal he said was critical to U.S. national security.

The vote, supposed to take 15 minutes, dragged on for an hour as negotiations swirled around the floor among GOP leaders and rank-and-file members reluctant to vote for the agreement. In the end, 27 Republicans voted against CAFTA, while 15 Democrats supported it.

I’ll bet that the Republicans who voted against it were all from states with heavy manufacturing bases.  I’ll check the roll call tomorrow.

Democrats, who were overwhelmingly against CAFTA, also argued that its labor rights provisions were weak and would result in exploitation of workers in Central America.

Democrats don’t give a shit about “exploited” workers in Central America.  In their parlance, exploited means “willing to work shit jobs for less than Americans.” They opposed this because the big unions were all opposed to it.  And I’ll be willing to bet that the Democrats who voted for the bill are all from states with very little manufacturing, and thus much less beholden to their union overlords than the rest of the party.

Besides, exploitation of foreign labor is why I can go to Old Navy and buy as pair of cargo shorts for $17, and Old Navy still makes a profit from it.  That’s capitalism, Jack, and nothing in human history has ever worked better.  This is a big win for Bush.

Posted by Lee on 07/28/05 at 12:42 AM in Politics • Permalink


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