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U.S. Reps. Shaw and Foley on CAFTA

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  • Philip Blumel
    Both Florida Senators Nelson and Martinez voted with the majority (54- 45) in approving CAFTA last week. The House will be tougher, particularly because of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 3, 2005
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      Both Florida Senators Nelson and Martinez voted with the majority (54-
      45) in approving CAFTA last week. The House will be tougher,
      particularly because of the political influence the sugar industry
      has in our state. But the House Ways and Means Committee approved it.
      Now it is up to the full House.

      See the full story at:
      http://www.gjsentinel.com/classifieds/content/shared/news/nation/stori
      es/07/01_CAFTA.html

      Excerpts:

      But Rep. E. Clay Shaw Jr., R-Fla., chairman of the Ways and Means
      trade subcommittee, said the future of fledgling democracies in
      Central America and the security of the United States were at stake.

      "Every country in the world is watching this vote to see if the
      United States is serious about free trade or not," Shaw said. "Rather
      than providing handouts or loans, the United States can quickly
      improve the quality of life of millions of our neighbors by providing
      DR-CAFTA countries improved access to our vast market and an
      opportunity to purchase U.S. products free of high tariffs."

      One effort to round up wavering votes focused on sugar.

      Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns sent a letter late Wednesday to
      the chairmen of the House and Senate agriculture committees promising
      that the administration would protect the domestic sugar industry
      from a potential influx of sugar from the CAFTA countries.

      Under the administration's promise, the secretary of agriculture
      would purchase sugar imported from these countries in excess of the
      current 1.5 million short ton quota on foreign imports. Johanns also
      said the department would study the feasibility of converting sugar
      into ethanol.

      In the House, Republican Rep. Mark Foley of Florida, which grows the
      country's most sugar cane, said he was still hopeful that more
      concessions would be made to the sugar industry before the House vote.

      Foley voted for the agreement in the committee, but said he wanted
      administration support for a pilot program to convert sugar to
      ethanol, not just a study of its feasibility, before he would commit
      to supporting the agreement on the House floor.

      "I need a pretty strong indication that this sugar is going to be
      used," Foley said, adding that he did not want the sugar "put in a
      warehouse and let the rats eat it."
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