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After the Storm: The Politics of the Post-CAFTA US Trade Agenda. The Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series Vol. 1, No. 1 October 2005

Jacobstein, Eric. (2005) After the Storm: The Politics of the Post-CAFTA US Trade Agenda. The Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series Vol. 1, No. 1 October 2005. [Working Paper]

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    Abstract

    [From the Introduction] Over a year after US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick and Central American trade ministers signed the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), the small, bilateral accord was able to squeeze through the US Congress with a close 217-215 vote in the House of Representatives on July 27, 2005. Congressional approval followed months of uncertainty. While the White House deservedly claims CAFTA as a victory, the nature of the CAFTA victory confirms the near-total collapse of a bipartisan trade consensus in Washington. Eleventh hour side deals and arm twisting made CAFTA’s passage in the House of Representatives possible. However, such a strategy does not bode well for future bilateral and multilateral trade agreements with Latin America. The current Andean Free Trade Agreement – which the US is negotiating with Colombia, Ecuador and Peru (with Bolivia participating as an observer) – is next on deck but even when negotiations are completed, it stands little chance of reaching a vote in the US Congress before the 2006 congressional elections in which all members of the House of Representatives and some Senators stand for re-election. Partisan politics is the biggest obstacle currently standing in the way of a more productive US trade agenda with the Americas. Constituent and sectorial concerns clearly block free trade. The sugar lobby, for example, contributed to congress’s challenge in passing CAFTA. However, bitter partisanship will continue to be the greatest challenge to greater free trade with the Americas in the coming period.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-US
    EU policies and themes > External relations > regionalism, international
    EU policies and themes > External relations > international trade
    EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-Latin America
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series: UNSPECIFIED
    ["eprint_fieldname_eusries" not defined]: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > University of Miami, Florida-EU Center of Excellence > Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 11 May 2009
    Page Range: p. 8
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:58
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9069

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