The U.S. Senate this week voted to approve the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, known informally as CAFTA. The measure promotes trade liberalization between the United States and Central America and the Dominican Republic.
Proponents, large businesses and corporations, say the free-trade measure, similar to NAFTA, will help fledgling democracies in Central America by reducing tariffs. Opponents, including labor and environmental groups, say CAFTA will lead to more jobs lost in the United States and an increased trade deficit. The act also doesn’t do enough to improve labor standards, ensure worker safety or buoy environmental standards in the countries concerned, opponents charge.
In the Senate roll call vote, Nevada’s senators split on the issue. Republican John Ensign voted for CAFTA. Democrat Harry Reid voted against it.