Thursday, July 28, 2005

CAFTA passes

CAFTA passed the House by a whisker, 217-215, after some White House concessions as well as serious lobbying by the President. The real margin was probably something closer to 7 or 8 votes but once the outcome was assured several textile state representatives were allowed to vote against it for local reasons.

As Deroy Murdock points out here, CAFTA is as important if not more important to us for the diplomatic and political benefits as it is economic. The combined covered countries share of trade overall is not significant but the benefits that accrue to them will mean a lot. Moreover, Castro, Daniel Ortega and the putrid budding regional satrap Chavez have been fighting tooth and nail AGAINST CAFTA. Defeating CAFTA would have given them a tremendous victory and made Latin America more susceptible to their siren song.

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