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Press Release

    FreedomWorks Salutes House Passage of CAFTA

    Early this morning, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Central American Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA, by a razor-thin 217-215 margin. FreedomWorks commends the House and Senate leadership, as well as President Bush and his Administration, for their hard work moving this important bill. CAFTA’s passage is an important defeat of the protectionist wing in Congress and is a positive step forward for the U.S. economy.

    CAFTA will create a free-trade zone between the United States and six countries: Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. CAFTA will further integrate these young democracies with the U.S. economy, to the benefit of everyone involved.

    The agreement already passed the U.S. Senate on June 30 by a 54-45 vote.

    CAFTA is first about expanding trade and economic growth. CAFTA lowers trade barriers between the nations of Central America, the Dominican Republic and the United States. Two-way trade with the U.S. and these nations reached $33 billion last year alone, and CAFTA will boost growth in all of the participating nations. Just as important, CAFTA provides stability and opportunity for these pro-U.S. democracies at a time when Marxist ideology is returning to parts of Latin America.

    Unfortunately, in this debate most House Democrats ended up on the same side as the dictators Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, all opposing CAFTA. Since there are few opportunities to thank Democrats for making pro-freedom votes, we’d like to highlight and thank the 15 House Democrats who bucked their liberal leadership and supported CAFTA.

    We THANK the following Democrats for their CAFTA Support:

    Reps. Victor F. Snyder (Ark.)
    Melissa L. Bean (Ill.)
    Dennis Moore (Kan.)
    William J. Jefferson (La.)
    Ike Skelton (Mo.)
    Gregory Meeks (N.Y.)
    Edolphus Towns (N.Y.)
    Jim Cooper (Tenn.)
    John S. Tanner (Tenn.)
    Henry Cuellar (Tex.)
    Ruben Hinojosa (Tex.)
    Solomon P. Ortiz (Tex.)
    Jim Matheson (Utah)
    James P. Moran Jr. (Va.)
    Norman D. Dicks (Wash.)