Bush Defends CAFTA
President George W. Bush appeared at the White House yesterday with six Central American presidents to defend the Central American Free Trade Agreement.
The presidnets that were present with Bush were Enrique Bolanos of Nicaragua, Ricardo Maduro of Honduras, Abel Pacheco of Costa Rica, Oscar Berger of Guatemala, Tony Saca of El Salvador and Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic.
President Bush said that the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) would bring “stability and security” to the United States as well as the six other nations it involves. As Jim Puzzanghera of Mercury News says, the Latino community is split over the CAFTA:
Proponents, including groups such as the Greater San Jose Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, say the deal will open the door to greater prosperity in a poverty-stricken region and more jobs in the United States for workers in fields like high-technology. But opponents, such as the League of United Latin American Citizens, argue those same promises were never fulfilled after a 1993 free-trade deal with Mexico.
The split was on clear display Thursday.
CAFTA brings benefits to all sides. For the newly emerging democracies of Central America, CAFTA would bring new investment that means good jobs and higher standards for their workers,” said Bush.
Bush may have a tough time getting the CAFTA passed by congress because it is opposed by many Democratic lawmakers as well as some Republican lawmakers. It may be voted on before the month is over.