One year and counting: Bush administration still no closer to passing anti-environmental Central American trade deal
Sara Zdeb, 202 222-0728
Statement of Sara Zdeb, Legislative Director
This week marks the anniversary of President Bush’s signing the Central American Free Trade Agreement, and Congress is no closer to passing this anti-environment deal today than it was a year ago. It’s time to scrap CAFTA and instead negotiate a pro-environment deal that Congress and the American people can get behind.
Trade should elevate living standards and improve environmental protection. But CAFTA is far from a rising tide that will lift all boats: it threatens Central America’s unique natural resources, doesn’t ensure that environmental standards will be raised and fails to provide countries the help they’ll need to protect their environment. CAFTA even gives foreign corporations special rights to challenge environmental laws in the U.S., and to sue for compensation if an environmental standard has impaired its business interests.
Luckily, members of Congress from both parties have realized that CAFTA is a raw deal for the environment and have demanded that the president do better.
The Bush administration should admit what we all know: CAFTA was dead on arrival. The president should scrap this anti-environmental deal and instead negotiate a trade agreement that protects our environment and natural resources.