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Congress for sale: GOP buys enough votes to pass anti-environmental trade deal Friends of the Earth statement on narrow passage of CAFTA

Posted Nov. 5, 2008 / Posted by: admin

David Waskow, 202-222-0716
Sara Zdeb, 202-222-0728

Friends of the Earth expressed disappointment in the narrow passage of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), a deal that threatens the environment in Central America and the United States.  Below is a statement from David Waskow, Director of Friends of the Earth’s International Program:

“The Bush administration and Republican leadership’s narrow win on CAFTA shows just how far we are from reaching a consensus on a balanced, sensible trade policy.  Only after twisting arms and offering a smorgasbord of deals could proponents eke out a victory.”

“The lengths to which CAFTA proponents went to win – with political bribery at midnight on the House floor – speaks volumes about CAFTA’s flaws.”

“Unfortunately, the result is a trade agreement that will increase deforestation and pollution in Central America and won’t raise the low environmental standards there.  Even worse, corporate polluters will have the right to bring suits challenging environmental protections in both the U.S. and Central America.”

“The terrible irony is that the White House and Republican leadership made available significant resources to get their votes, but could only cough up a mere $1 million for environmental capacity building in the five Central American countries and the Dominican Republic.  The contrast is disturbing at best.”

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