Letters to the Editor

CAFTA was just

the beginning

The lengths to which President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and other Republican leaders went to get their razor-thin 217-215 House of Representatives victory for CAFTA indicate that their plan to get our nation involved in the even more dangerous Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) will face even more opposition.

The president and vice president made almost unprecedented trips to the Capitol to lobby for it the day the vote was taken. Republican heavyweights made promises to obtain federal funds for district projects, made commitments for re-election funding, secured ready access to power brokers, and went as far as saying that if CAFTA wasn't passed, there would be a security threat to the U.S., as if CAFTA was designed to stop terrorism.

The awful truth is that CAFTA will add to the multiple problems already caused by the 12-year-old NAFTA pact with Canada and Mexico. You can expect more jobs to exit this country, more illegal immigration, and another sovereignty-intruding court to supersede our state and federal court rulings. The president made it known that he wanted CAFTA to pass as a precursor to the FTAA, which would merge 34 nations of the Western Hemisphere as the next step in trading away our independence and economic prosperity. But by playing virtually all of his cards away in the fight for CAFTA, Mr. Bush will have few left when he seeks FTAA approval.

To learn more about the FTAA and what you can do to stop it, go to www.stoptheftaa.org .

- Will Hamann