Reject CAFTA to protect local economy

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, June 20, 2005

Call me a conservative. I can't help it: I believe in the U.S. Constitution. I just wish our president did. A year ago, Bush signed CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement), the next generation of NAFTA. NAFTA was bad enough, but CAFTA, asks Congress to approve of dispersing our national sovereignty to multi-national corporations that will get to decide whether the U.S. and other countries have harmed them by having laws or regulations or practices which harm "expected profits." If the CAFTA board of trade decides that the corporation has been harmed, the U.S. has to pay up. What would the Boston Tea Party patriots have said about this?

Giving corporations the final say over and beyond national decision-makers like Congress and the Supreme Court doesn't fit with my sense of an oath to support the Constitution of the United States.

CAFTA will also allow corporations to decide when states are interfering with their profits or restraining trade. If supported by the board of trade, we could be required to abandon our salmon marketing program because it interferes with selling farmed salmon. We could be told by BP or Exxon that environmental regulations inhibit their profits and Alaska could be required to abandon all environmental protections. The state of Alaska could even be sued by Dick Cheney's own company because State Troopers conflict with the profits of private security firms. Is this states' rights?

This is crazy. How could a sworn president of the United States sign such a document? I trust that Alaska's congressional delegation will remember their oaths of office and vote against CAFTA.

Margo Waring

Juneau



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