While the Ways and Means Committee plans for a hearing Thursday on the Central American Free Trade Agreement, opponents are holding an event of their own today. Lawmakers including Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-Ga.) and a slew of lobbying groups are holding a news conference at noon on the main terrace of the Cannon House Office Building. [IMGCAP(1)]
Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said, “You will see conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats as well as small-business groups, farmers, religious and environmental groups. This agreement is in trouble.” The groups include the National Farmers Union and the the U.S. Business and Industry Council.
But CAFTA supporter Rep. Clay Shaw (R-Fla.), chairman of the Ways and Means subcommittee on trade, said, “We better get on the ball and become part of some free trade treaties in our own hemisphere.”
Meanwhile, President Bush will address the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Thursday on the importance of CAFTA.
— Kate Ackley