Accessibility links

Bush Renews Push for CAFTA

President Bush renewed his campaign for the Central American Free Trade Agreement Thursday amid signs Congress may reject the deal.

Speaking in Washington at the Organization of American States, Mr. Bush urged Congress to approve the agreement, saying it will strengthen democracy and spread peace in Central America and the Dominican Republic.

The Senate approved the agreement, known as CAFTA, last month, but opponents say they have enough "no" votes to defeat it in the House of Representatives.

CAFTA would cut or eliminate tariffs among the United States and six Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.

Mr. Bush argues the trade accord would lead to increased U.S. exports and the creation of more U.S. jobs. However, CAFTA is widely unpopular in southern U.S. states, where many voters fear companies will move manufacturing jobs to Central America for cheaper labor.