Wednesday, June 15, 2005
( 8:13 AM )
Bad Choices in Oregon
Both of Oregon's senators, Ron Wyden (D) and Gordon Smith (R) have emerged today as supporters of CAFTA. The disgrace of this decision knows no bounds. Of course, who DOES support CAFTA? Nike and Intel, of course! The senators know where their bread is buttered. I'm really dissapointed in Wyden.
The Central American-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement would eliminate a number of tariffs and loosen other trade restrictions with Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Companies such as Intel and Nike say the agreement would boost Oregon's economy by expanding trade opportunities. But labor groups say it would cause U.S. workers to lose their jobs, and the U.S. sugar industry fears it would drive down their prices.
Wyden broke ranks with many Democrats by supporting the agreement, known as CAFTA.
All four Democratic House members from Oregon have said they will oppose it. Wyden said he sees opportunity for Oregon industries ranging from agriculture to technology to increase their exports under CAFTA.
This is ridiculous. There is no opportunity to increase exports under this plan for Oregon - the buying power in Central America is lower than this state's buying power alone. No, what will be exported will be more jobs. It will be easier and easier to leave workers here without income and healthcare and to decimate the workers of Central America, as has been done in Mexico because of NAFTA. If Subcomandante Marcos rose up because of NAFTA and in defense of the exploitation and oppression of the indigenous peoples in Mexico, what can CAFTA bring - peace and tranquility?
Once again, corporate power buys out the will of the people. And of course democrats who want to remain in power and maintain the status quo are willing to go with the corporations over the people. Clinton proved that, along with all those other "new" democrats. I thought Ron Wyden to be different. But I suppose the bucks from Nike and Intel (that they pour into political support rather than taxes so the community can support the schools that educate their employees' children) are just too hard to turn down.