Monday, July 18, 2005

CAFTA

I somehow stumbled across a site in opposition to a proposed bill in the US to create a Caribbean-American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).

(This is the site: http://www.americansforfairtrade.com/)

I perused it a bit, and only found information pertaining to CAFTA. I think their URL listing is somewhat misleading, so I wrote them:


Folks,

your URL is americansforfairtrade.com, but the only issue I see you taking on stand on here is the proposed CAFTA bill.

It seems to me that Americans have benefitted from a significant amount of unfair trade between your country and countries in South America, Central America, and Africa.

Are you going to take a stand on, for example, the low costs of coffee, bananas, or chocolate? Will you take issue with the subsidies given to your farmers, which those in other nations don't get?

Those are fair trade issues.

Just wondering where you stand on this stuff.

Andrew


As always, we'll await a response.

3 Comments:

Blogger Andrew J. said...

This is a issue that must be discuss. Free trade is a cloudy issue. It is shrouded in conflicting statistics and we are mostly dependant on a media with questionable loyalties for information regarding what is going on in the partner countries. We should start by defining free trade. What is the moral definition of it and what is the reality of it? I think that the reality is that it is a method for big business to utilize cheap labor without consern for the workers.

Let me tell you a story.
I was in Costa Rica a few years back and the locals told me that massive amounts of bananas (their biggest export) went bad every year because Dole didn't buy them. I though this was strange. As I inquired more I learned that Dole threatened to pull out if they sold to anyone else. With Dole poviding so much to the ecomomy it had Costa Rica in a head lock. If they sold to anyone else then Dole would pull out and the economy would crash, so they just let all the excess go to waste and rot.

This probably typifies the big business aproach to free trade. As a side note: Haynes (the underwear people) refused to let a group of us students into their factory. This was not just "today is not a good day". They went to great lengths to keep us away.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Andrew J.,

I wrote about fair trade, not free trade. There's a big difference, and I don't think that globalism eschews the virtues of either free or fair trade.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Andrew J. said...

The website uses both terms. I guess that means I need a definition of both. I would also say that globalism has a huge effect on trade but I will reserve further comment on that until I have a definition.

9:29 AM  

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