Cafta Will Benefit American Markets, Jobs, Cornyn Says

In: All News   Posted 05/28/2004

WASHINGTON—U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick signed the U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) between the United States and five Latin American countries on Friday. The agreement now moves to the Congress for approval. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the President’s Export Council, expressed support for the agreement which he called an opportunity to “increase export opportunities for American businesses, and create jobs in Texas.” The group of countries, which includes Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua (and soon, the Dominican Republic), will represent the second-largest export market for the United States in the region. Mexico is the largest, both for the U.S. and Texas."This agreement will benefit American markets, American businesses and American workers. I applaud the President and Ambassador Zoellick for their continued efforts to grow the American economy through this and other important trade negotiations. Texas farmers, ranchers and entrepreneurs will benefit almost immediately, and that’s great news for continued growth of American jobs.” The terms of CAFTA provide that more than 80 percent of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial goods will be duty-free in the nations involved in the treaty. Remaining tariffs will be phased out over the next 10 years. The Bush administration reached an agreement on CAFTA on December 17, 2003. CAFTA, along with the Australian Free Trade Agreement, must be ratified by Congress before implementation. Recent trade successes include the United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (H. R. 2738), which was passed by the Senate on July 31 by a vote of 66-31, and the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (H. R. 2729), passed by the Senate on July 31 with a vote of 66-32. Sen. Cornyn is a member of the Congressional Oversight Group on Trade which supervises and consults with the U.S. Trade Representative. He also serves on the President’s Export Council.