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#181599 - 08/03/05 05:51 PM CAFTA  
Joined: May 2005
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Littleengine Offline
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I'll be the first to admit that I'm an teensy weensy bit directionally challenged (I'm from Canada, eh ;-)), but how come Belize isn't included in this? For the last few months I've thought that I was headed on a grand and wonderful trip in October to the nicest little corner of Central America there ever was... only to be told by Bush today that, what, it's not "Central American" enough or something to be included in the Central American Free Trade Agreement?? I barely made it through Poli Sci class when the professor was trying to explain NAFTA (and that was only 3 countries)... does someone know the short answer to why Belize didn't make the, ahh, short list?

#181600 - 08/03/05 06:02 PM Re: CAFTA  

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Belize is a member of CARICOM (Caribbean Community and Common Market) established by treaty in August of 1973. CARICOM replaced the 1965-1972 Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA), organized to provide a continued economic linkage between the English-speaking countries of the Caribbean following the dissolution of the West Indies Federation. In other words, Belize is so special they have their own earlier CAFTA.

#181601 - 08/03/05 06:35 PM Re: CAFTA  
Joined: Sep 2002
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Ernie B Offline
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OH? ........ ???? confused


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#181602 - 08/03/05 07:16 PM Re: CAFTA  

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Hey - I’m not saying trade agreements w/ US benefit anyone more than they benefit the US. Belize is geographically Central America and politically Caribbean. CARICOM in actuality probably has little input into the negotiating process w/ US, and from what I’ve read Belize has not benefitted much from the US aid that has gone to the Caribbean. At a gathering earlier this year centering around CAFTA and its claimed benefits, governor Jeb Bush suggested Belize should “put themselves in a position to be able to attract the type of assistance and investment that they require to bring them in line with the other more developed countries.” I personally have no idea what the heck that means.

In California, there is a huge conflict brewing in the hispanic/latino community regarding CAFTA. I mean, let’s be honest about what CAFTA can and cannot do:

The proposal says that CAFTA will lower tariffs on US farm products, goods and services sold in Central America and make it easier for C.A. to export products to US. California alone stands to have its exports boosted by 17% and promises that 1,300 new jobs will be created w/in the first year after implementation.

But CAFTA is NOT going to enable Central Americans to buy US manufactured cars, or software, or prime beef. CAFTA will enable US companies to move plants to Honduras, outsource jobs to El Salvador and exploit cheap labor in Guatemala. US workers fear the loss of jobs, pensions, health care benefits; school districts lose revenue with every plant shutdown; the tax base is effected, small businesses can't compete with corporations using cheap labor to undercut the market. There’s the issue of exploiting poor Central American workers, not to mention major environmental concerns which have not been addressed. It’s clear that the legal protections for workers and the environment are not as strong as those for the products they will produce.

US has purchasing power and economic advantage that can’t be beat. This puts them in a position to help empower poor workers in developing countries while promoting prosperity at home. I loved a quote I read about CAFTA in the Washington Post: “When the world's poorest people can buy American products, not just make them, then we will know that our trade policies are finally working.”


Okay - that's my rant for the day wink

#181603 - 08/03/05 07:56 PM Re: CAFTA  
Joined: Apr 2000
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SP Daily Offline
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Belize is a Caribbean country.

#181604 - 08/03/05 08:00 PM Re: CAFTA  

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where's it located geographically?

#181605 - 08/03/05 08:02 PM Re: CAFTA  
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Western Caribbean
Socially, historicaly and politically a Caribbean country

#181606 - 08/03/05 08:15 PM Re: CAFTA  

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ostrich
(and I mean that in the nicest possible way wink )

#181607 - 08/03/05 08:21 PM Re: CAFTA  
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SP Daily Offline
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Is that meant for me or the people of Belize? Study their history and family, political ties...then put your labels on them.

#181608 - 08/03/05 08:25 PM Re: CAFTA  

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actually that was meant for you - simply to say that while Belize has all the benefits and beauty of Caribbean culture and history, it is geographically located in Central America and as a consequence bears both the burdens and benefits of that association as well - witness the drug trafficking discussion of the past few days . . .
simply wishing it isn't so doesn't make it that way

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