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 Home > News & Policies > July 2005

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 15, 2005

CAFTA Will Create Jobs and Level the Playing Field for American Workers

Today, President Bush Visited The R. L. Stowe Textile Factory In North Carolina Where He Delivered Remarks In Support Of The Central America And Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). After touring the factory, the President called on Congress to pass CAFTA to support American jobs and democracy and security in Central America and the Dominican Republic.

CAFTA Will Benefit American Textile Workers. Increased global trade means that American textile firms need to take advantage of regional opportunities for exports and growth. The National Council of Textile Organizations endorses CAFTA, which will help level the playing field for American firms by eliminating existing duties on American products. This will save jobs and make U.S. exports much more competitive.

  • CAFTA Will Help Keep Textile Jobs In America. In 2004, North Carolina exported more than $1.7 billion worth of manufactured goods to CAFTA nations - most of it in textiles and apparel. Without CAFTA, the market for our textiles in Central America would likely disappear - and so would thousands of jobs in North Carolina and around the country.
  • CAFTA Will Help America Compete With China. CAFTA will work to offset the biggest challenge now facing the industry - low-cost producers in China. While a t-shirt that says "Made in Honduras" is likely to contain more than 60 percent American materials, a "Made in China" t-shirt is likely to contain no materials from the U.S. Under CAFTA, Central American and Dominican garment makers will have a strong incentive to use American materials, which will enter the country duty-free.
  • CAFTA Will Expand Business Opportunities. Since Congress passed similar trade agreements with Caribbean nations five years ago, exports from American thread manufacturers and yarn spinners to that region have grown ten-fold, saving thousands of jobs and giving U.S. companies the ability to compete with producers in Asia.

CAFTA Will Benefit American Manufacturers. CAFTA will instantly eliminate tariffs on 80 percent of U.S.-manufactured goods, and the remainder of tariffs will be phased out within a few years. As a result, manufacturers and workers will benefit from increased sales of information technology; farm, construction, medical, and scientific equipment; paper products; and pharmaceuticals.

  • CAFTA Would Result In An Extra Billion Dollars Worth Of Manufactured Exports. Today, the growing economies of Central America and the Dominican Republic have a huge appetite for our goods. From 2000 to 2004, U.S. exports to CAFTA nations grew three times faster than the overall rate of U.S. exports.

CAFTA Will Benefit American Farmers And Ranchers. As American agricultural productivity increases, our farmers and ranchers rely more and more on exports. Twenty-seven percent of their income currently comes from exports.

  • CAFTA Will Level The Playing Field For American Farmers And Ranchers. Eighty percent of imports from Central America and the Dominican Republic, including 99 percent of agricultural imports, already enter the United States duty free. CAFTA will level the playing field by reducing hefty tariffs and burdensome regulations on U.S. exports to CAFTA nations.
  • U.S. Agricultural Exports Will Increase. The American Farm Bureau estimates U.S. farm exports could grow by $1.5 billion per year, as CAFTA will allow the people of Central America and the Dominican Republic to buy even more from the U.S. agricultural sector.

CAFTA Will Strengthen The Young Democracies Of The Region, Making America Safer In Our Own Neighborhood. By passing CAFTA, we will help continue the transformation of the Americas into a more peaceful, democratic, and prosperous hemisphere. By bringing economic growth to Central America and the Dominican Republic, CAFTA will boost demand for U.S. goods, reduce poverty, discourage illegal immigration, raise working standards, and deliver hope and opportunity to people who have made the choice for freedom.

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