Out of Control Policy Blog

Revenge fantasies

From U.S. sugar lobbyists to Latin American dictators, all sorts of people wanted to sink CAFTA.

This Deroy Murdock article, written before the U.S. signed onto the free trade agreement, offers interesting perspective into what might have happened if CAFTA went kaput.

Its particularly interesting since the protectionists now have revenge on their minds:

    No sooner had Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) cast his vote in favor of the Central American Free Trade Agreement than anti-CAFTA activists started plotting their revenge.

    Labor unions began calling members in Cuellar's southwest Texas district and planning a protest outside his San Antonio office. Opponents of the pact finalized plans to launch a door-to-door, bilingual canvassing effort sometime around Labor Day. "Our intent is to expose the myths he expounds that trade is good for Latinos in his district," said Debbie Russell, who is directing the campaign for the Texas Fair Trade Coalition.

    Although President Bush signed CAFTA into law Tuesday, ending a long battle for ratification, recriminations might only be beginning for some lawmakers who voted for the trade pact.

    Cuellar is one of about two dozen House members targeted by trade critics, labor unions and political activists for helping Bush secure his razor-thin CAFTA victory. The targeted lawmakers include Democrats who bucked party leaders by voting for the agreement and Republicans who supported it despite heavy opposition from labor, textile or sugar interests in their districts.

    ...

    In the end, the trade pact passed 217 to 215.

    CAFTA opponents and political activists said last week that they still were discussing the extent of reprisals. But their initial targets included many of the "CAFTA 15" " Democrats who voted for the trade pact " and as many as a dozen Republicans who had been expected to vote against it but switched sides.

Whole article here.

Ted Balaker is Producer


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