CAFTA-DR has passed

Well in a vote of 217 to 215 the house passed the Central American Free Trade Agreement. Many say that the agreement is going to cause job loss to local farmers and cause human rights, and environmental problems in the Central American countries. In the Chicago Tribune today, the feeling was that the Central American countries are able to import goods to America tariff free, and that the elimination of tariffs on American exports through CAFTA simply levels the playing feild. Then there are other reports that talk about the continued barriers to trade from Central American exports on the side of America. Therefore I will do a little research tonight and get the real scoop.

One thing is for sure though, so called “Free Trade” seems to be anything but free. The big issue here is in the form of intellectual property rights and buying power. As America embarks on open trade with Central America, the research and development that American corporations have at their disposal and the buying power of the American dollar create a very un-level playing feild. In many instances native culture and resources can be comodified by corporations taking away what once was free and placing royaltys on them for the use of what would be legally intellectual property of private entities. The issue expands into genetically modified organisms and even certian methods of harvesting. This combined with the power of corporate money poses a great threat to independent farmers and third world coalitions.

It will be interesting to see what happens here. Many look back on NAFTA as an example saying that CAFTA is more of the same problems. Mexico seems to be in an even worse situation in regards to buying power per capita, employment, and business prosperity. However both NAFTA and CAFTA-DR are shadowed by another Free trade agreement called FTAA. This is the largest of its kind and covers almost an entire hemisphere. The passing of CAFTA also creates more presedence for the FTAA to pass without fully understanding the implications of what it means for the southern region of the world. I will continue to watch and hope someone responds. -Knockemdown

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