CAFTA goes forward

Yet another dubiously beneficial "free-trade" pact made its way through the Senate this morning. Passed 54-45, with 12 Republicans voting no and 10 Democrats voting yes, the Central American Free Trade Agreement will open up markets between the U.S. and Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.

The U.S. sugar and textile lobbies are major opponents of the pact, fearing a loss of profit from much cheaper imports. Union leaders, environmentalists, and the usual crews are also opposed to these "free-trade" pacts, since they tend to reject workers' rights and environmental protections.

CAFTA now moves to the House, where it will likely pass by a close vote.

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