The WSJ (sr) reports on the latest maneuvering by the Bush administration to get CAFTA passed by the House:
Inching closer to House passage of a trade pact
with Central America, the White House yesterday picked up the support
of a small but crucial bloc of Southern Republicans after finalizing
deals to address textile-industry concerns.
Under the agreement, which would bind the U.S.
economy to five countries in Central America, as well as the Dominican
Republic in the Caribbean, apparel made in the region can enter the
U.S. duty-free if produced with American yarn and fabric. Critics say
that loopholes in the pact would allow some fabric to come from China,
diverting business from U.S. textile makers. The deals are designed to
tighten those loopholes, ensuring, for example, that U.S. denim
shipments to trouser makers in Nicaragua are preserved.
Phew. What would the world come to if trouser makers in Nicaragua could use Chinese denim?
The deals are expected to secure five more
legislators’ votes for Cafta, as the Central American Free Trade
Agreement is known, congressional and administration officials said.
So they call it CAFTA, do they? Maybe we should call it CAMTA.