Letters to the Editor

CAFTA would further erode independence, cause loss of jobs

The Central American Free Trade Agreement is advertised by some of its supporters as being an extension of NAFTA.

When approving our membership in NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, few congressmen knew about the court the agreement would set up.

In April 2004, this little-known court, unaccountable in any way to the people of the United States, overruled previously settled court proceedings in Massachusetts and Mississippi.

NAFTA court judge Abner Mikva said after the court's decision, "If Congress had known that there was anything like this in NAFTA, they would have never voted for it."

Now, the House of Representatives is about to vote on CAFTA that would create a court similar to the NAFTA high court under Chapter 10 of the pact.

Some congressmen even say that this court would be a "stronger version" of the NAFTA court.

Why do we let Congress sign onto so-called "free trade" agreements that set up independence-destroying bureaucracies and courts capable of overruling federal and state laws and proceedings? Is there any true benefit in it for us? The NAFTA pact already has caused the loss of 1 million American jobs since we joined it. Any good CAFTA might do would be far outweighed by the job outsourcing and, far more importantly, the eroding of our precious American independence.

For more information on CAFTA and to learn what you can do to contact Congress in opposition to it, go to www.stopcafta.com .

- L. William Hamann