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The issue of Trade is important to our district and to my work in Congress.
I will continue my battle for fair trade, not just free trade. Failed trade policies have hurt America’s workers by shipping jobs overseas, undermining worker’s rights here and abroad and allowing changes to laws that protect workers, consumers, and the environment.
During the 109th Congress, the House is expecting to consider a number of measures that will impact our trade, such as the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). As negotiated, CAFTA would only require that countries enforce their own labor laws, however inadequate they may be. The labor laws of the CAFTA countries do not come close to meeting international standards, and have been repeatedly criticized by the United Nations’ International Labor Organization and the U.S. State Department. CAFTA also contains no enforceable provisions preventing laws from being weakened over time and rewards CAFTA countries for their failure to enact and enforce adequate worker protections.
That is why I am opposed to CAFTA. I will not support any agreement that does not incorporate internationally-recognized labor rights with effective enforcement mechanisms. I will not support any agreement that blocks a worker’s right to organize and bargain collectively, allows for child labor or allows for discrimination in the workplace.