Central America Free Trade Agreement

Posted By: Ernie B

Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/06/05 06:33 PM

I read a recent artical in the Houston Chronicle (6-30-05)about problems in negotiations with CAFTA. Thoes countries covered by the pact are - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.

Does anyone have any idea why Belize is not included in the pact? Just curious.
Posted By: Now Danny

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/06/05 06:39 PM

It's probably because Belize accept aid from Cuba. I'm just quessing. confused
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/06/05 06:44 PM

Belize also accepts aid from the U.S. ?????
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/06/05 06:54 PM

Belize is a member of the Caribbean Common Market and as such is not in a position to also be involved in the Central American Free Trade Agreement.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/06/05 07:14 PM

As you know, I have become involved with an investigation regarding business practices in Belize. The US government doesn't hold very high regard for the GOB or the way business is conducted. While I don't know how much better or worse the CAFTA nations are, I can't imagine that they would want any part of those issues. Caricom is not as rigid in their limitations.
Something like CAFTA would be great for the people in Belize, but would greatly decrease the ways the GOB could make money.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/06/05 07:21 PM

Gotta love US Free Trade, pressure smaller economies into opening their doors wide for US products and then back door tax breaks and subsidies at home so the smaller nations products can't compete in the US.

Ibanole, I can't see how CAFTA could be good for Belize. The sugar and citrus industries are heavily lobbied in the US and have repressive subsidies that already damage Belize's economy. What other agricultural or manufacturing base does Belize have that would benefit? Don't say shrimp because there's talk of shrimp farms opening up with new technology in the US. Bet on a serious lobby there to protect interests at home.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/06/05 07:32 PM

CARICOM Summit Closes on Unifying High Note

Castries, Jul 6 (Prensa Latina) The leaders of the 15 states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) conclude their 26th regional Summit Wednesday after four days of profound deliberation toward regional integration.

The priorities of the summit were to diminish inequalities among the countries with the Single Market and Caribbean Economy (MUEC) and setting up a fund for development to facilitate trade, as well as tactics to decelerate AIDS in the region.

Participating in the Summit were representatives of CARICOM´s 15 member-states: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Granada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, San Cristobel and Nevis, Saint Vicente and the Grenadines, Santa Lucia, Surinam and Trinidad and Tobago.

Launch of a common passport to facilitate free movement between the member states of MUEC was approved for 2006.

The delegates also proposed measures to assist in solving the crisis in Haiti since the coup d état in February 2004 against President Jean Bertrand Aristide; although they did not recognize the interim government there.

They likewise rejected, and agreed on a strategy to confront, the disadvantageous reform for sugar sales proposed by the European Union for the Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Group.

Specific mechanisms were approved to deal with crime, on the rise in some countries in the area, especially Jamaica.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/06/05 08:02 PM

Most US American citizens that I meet think that the whole world is against Cuba - when in fact the US is the only nation that has embargoes against Cuba.

Amazing what a little propoganda can do to the general population's way of thinking.
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/07/05 01:01 AM

little? a lot, your whole life.
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/07/05 01:49 AM

Some interesting observations, but no real facts. Has the GOB released a statement on this subject? I would be intersted in reading that. Remember, I'm just curious, so don't beat me up.
Posted By: reaper

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/07/05 05:00 AM

Amanda...In 2003 even the European Union had enough of Fidel and imposed economic sanctions after a series of arrests on the island. Some US sanctions lifted in 2000 after the passing of the Trade Sanctions and Export Enhancement Act of 2000. Holding a grudge for 40 plus years over some nuclear missles pointed at us and a dictator on par with some of the best(worst) of them is archaic at best. However it's still communism which you also agree is bad(another thread). And GWB, slick willy, GHWB ,Uncle Ronnie , Jimmy Carter, tricky Dick and LBJ have all been too busy during their respective terms with other agendas to really examine what to do with Mr.Castro. It will really be interesting to see what happens when things such as the US policy and Cuban leadership finally change. The Soviet Union abandoned Cuba long ago. I wonder the effect that has had on the economy there. It's also interesting that Cuban citizens usually rank number two in Naturualized US Citizenship each year, right behind Mexican citizens. As for most Americans...well they are doing good if they can even point to Cuba on a world map. But, don't dumb Yanks make good condo buyers? And it's amazing the PUP's propoganda has you satisfied with sunshine and higher taxes with no return on the investment. And immissing, Jesse summed it up. It's CARICOM not CAFTA for Belize at this time. Just a few thoughts from another most American citizen. cool
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/07/05 05:09 PM

You think I pay much attention to any propoganda?

One would guess that once ole Castro passing on, things will change in Cuba and most likely their US visitors statistics will go through the roof. Many US citizens visit there now, via Mexico.

The US is filling up with Cubans and Mexicans, and the US citizens seem to be flocking to other countries in their retirement years.

The old adage - the grass is always greener on the other side - applies to many peoples thought processes.

I don't think communism is bad, however I prefer to live in a democratic society.

I have invested my entire life in Belize - I have to admit my return on investment is phenomenal.

I know everybodys life isn't all sweetness and light, but I've got to admit that I am really, really happy living here.

I could live in the UK and pay my 40% income tax rate, and dream about sunshine in Belize - or I can stay here, pay my 15% income tax rate and look outside my window at the Caribbean sea. Hmmmm tough choice.

Hey - did I sell you a condo?
Posted By: itsjustme

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/07/05 06:15 PM


It is curious to note that CAFTA is the subject of much debate here in the states too. Except that Congress thinks its a bad deal for US farmers, grower's and the like.

I admit that I am just becoming educated on the subject and am willing to be educated, but there are clearly two sides to the story.

In any event, one nice thing would be the elimination of most of the duties on consumer goods to the member nations. Given the cost of some things are nearly doubled by the duties, I'd think that would be an incentive to investment and trade.

That said, this is an early opinion and one I am open to revisiting.
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/07/05 07:35 PM

What...? you can trust the US Government, just ask any Native American!
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/07/05 08:28 PM

There are some very good sites (and some just stupid ones) on CAFTA and what the final goal is (FTAA). A Google search will give you an idea of the arguments for and against.

The main issue is not duties, in general dropping duties is a good thing for the consumer. If Belizeans had more disposable income it would work out nicely but they don't.

The problem is the subsidies that make the playing field so unfair as to prevent the smaller economies from making greater inroads to the US market. US farmers will cry but the US sugar industry receives more in subsidies than the entire GDP of many small countries (including Belize). If the market for sugar was truly open to Belize the economy here would take a big boost. The same pretty much applies for most of our major industries.

I'm not really on the hemp bandwagon but Belize could do very well with that crop but I'll bet if it was attempted on a large scale that the US would be the first to step in and put a stop to it. On and on it goes...

I may sound anti-American but I only have it for those in government who could really give a shit about what their foreign policy does in the rest of the world.

Americans are great, their government sucks and unfortunately most Americans are shielded from the realities of the rest of the world and the effects of US foreign policy. I think a lot of people would be pissed to know what goes on in the name of America, they would certainly have a better of idea as to why there is so much anti-American sentiment around the world. Nobody likes a bully.
Posted By: Catatonic Motivator

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/07/05 09:33 PM

Yeah, if it weren't for the money we supply, we'd be even easier to hate, I'm sure.

Once again, the larger the target, the more flak thrown. Hell, we're the Wal-Mart of world politics.

If we--and by extension, our government--didn't, as you espouse, "give a shit about what their foreign policy does in the rest of the world," I'd think we'd just cut off all foreign aid, take what we wanted and call it done. Agreed?

I really take offense to the concept that Americans don't care about the rest of the world. Historical record certainly argues the opposite.

Can you imagine what most countries who depend on the money given (or "loaned") to them by the US, whether it be official aid or tourist dollars, would look like without that support?

Can you?

OK, go ahead. Bite away.
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/07/05 09:40 PM

Posted By: collyk

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/08/05 11:35 AM

Amanda that hurt. I am in the UK where it has been cloudy for weeks, but no proper rain. We are about to have a hosepipe ban in London because of drought although we have to wear rain coats and take umbrellas out every day because it spits for 10 minutes out of every hour. I am about to write my cheque for %40 to the taxman, and I am looking out over an factory which is about to be converted into 14 high density flats for people on low incomes and a couple of dumped cars. I just can't understand why you think Belize is so lovely!

I think Simon is right. My family live in the USA and I love watching Fox news for the ironic pleasure of reactionary broadcasting. I get quite an insight into USA attitudes whenever I visit. Most people in the USA really are unaware how USA foreign policy affects other countries and how the USA is perceived in the rest of the world. I agree that most USA people are wonderful but the government has done them a great disservice. That said, very few governments do well by their country. It is always interesting to watch the news in the USA and see how things are reported so differently there. It seems that many USA folk who depend on the television news are misinformed and uninformed.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/08/05 03:09 PM

The foreign aid argument:

US foreign aid - .01% of GDP, most other developed countries - .8% to 1%. Not quite so generous as you were probably led to believe and almost always tied to a stick, or a club in some cases.

If the trade playing field was more balanced the US .01% would be a great number but face it the playing field is anything but level.
Posted By: Katie Valk

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/08/05 03:20 PM

Less than 10% of the US population have passports and 24 hr tv news and USA Today spend more time focusing on the school bus accident in Des Moines than the more substantial issues and events that occur internationally and affect world population. Most are not aware the US gives proportionately less intl aid than many other countries and that most other countries have their version of the US Peace Corp. etc. It takes alot of effort to ferret out news and facts while juggling a full time job, family, mow the lawn and putting in 30 minutes at Curves. Just look at how many Americans don't care enough to vote. Due to location and size, Americans don't move around from country to country as easily as people on the Continent do, so exposure to other cultures in some places is limited to immigrants. Anyway, Happy belated 4th of July.
Posted By: Catatonic Motivator

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/08/05 06:02 PM

Wow. That sounds pretty negative for someone with such solid ties to the US and its government. I'd wager (perhaps foolishly) that the majority of your clients are probably US citizens as well.

But you're right, we're a pretty busy crowd. And, as far as philanthropy goes, we seem to be (privately) among, if not the most, generous people in the world. But I'm probably just looking through rose-colored glasses. I really don't think it would matter how much we gave away, it'd never be enough. See my previous post.
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/08/05 06:11 PM

OH MY GOD!!! I can't imagine how the other nine tenths of the world would survive without handouts from the US? And to think, I used to pray to God for his givings, I guess it should've been to GWB.
Posted By: Catatonic Motivator

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/08/05 06:21 PM

OK. You can win. This is obviously pointless.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/08/05 07:23 PM

It's not pointless; it's a good discussion and allows you to see the other side of the issue. You a do a disservice to yourself to dismiss the possibility that all you have been told may not be the whole truth.

You have your opinion and valid arguments, as do others. Debate is a good thing, dismissal is not.

You can only expand your horizons by listening to what others have to say without taking a defensive stance. If the US government did a bit of the same there would be a lot less anti-American sentiment around the world.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/08/05 08:58 PM

Hey Catmo

Just to be clear - nobody is being anti-US. We love you and we love your money.

Everybody just wants people from the States to realize that the rest of the world does not see them as the biggest, the best, the greatest and the richest. "Super power" is a name you get to run around and use because nobody else WANTS the moniker and you guys seem to need the moral boost.

I used to be married to a guy from the States, therefore our child is a US citizen - of course I love you guys - just chill once in a while and wallow in the mire with the rest of us poor mortals.
Posted By: Miss Anthropy

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/08/05 09:18 PM

Back to CAFTA, here's an interesting article on the subject written by an American, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, Rep., Texas:
Posted By: Chris

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/08/05 11:18 PM

The only reason Belize is not a member of CAFTA is that most of the member countries produce cheap and excellent beer which Belize would be obliged to allow imported under the terms of CAFTA.

Simplistic? Yes. True? Absolutely.
Posted By: Miss Anthropy

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/08/05 11:25 PM

Hey Amanda, we love our money too. But not as much as we love our American spirit! Americans are funny that way ya know, not to mention we Texans.
Posted By: reaper

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/09/05 03:33 AM

Chris..I usually side with you on the GOB and tax issues...but, did Mr. Bowen really stop CAFTA? Interesting observation. Collyk, your tax money responded very well to a horrible tragedy. Keep that in mind the next time you write that check. Amanda..We Yanks labeled the Super Bowl. I think someone else labeled us and Russia "Superpowers". SimonB,The US foreign policy is so screwed up that we protect all of Canada on our dime. The Canadian Navy has 3 subs..all parked in the West Ed Mall. Katie...I love the general blanket statements about Americans. Especially about Not moving around Country to Country. Are we talking about white, middle America NASCAR fans? Just curious. Because here in Southern California there are about 185 languages spoken in the school districts. Someone's moving around. I also think in this trying time that many US citizens are scared to leave the US> Which brings me to another point. If the US is SO screwed up, why is everyone trying SO hard to get in? GWB and his policies wear me out, I have been to 25 different Countries, and I never let those dumb ass talking heads on FOX or any other news show do my thinking for me! This thread started out as a CAFTA ? and turned into politics 101. At this point in history, let's just be glad we are all safe and free to express our opinions and can count on each others Country in times of need. SO...what's new in San Pedro? cool
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/09/05 03:42 AM

Posted By: reaper

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/09/05 03:44 AM

Posted By: papashine

Re: Central America Free Trade Agreement - 07/09/05 01:13 PM

Sooo...other then that Mrs. Lincoln, did you enjoy the play? wink
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