July 27, 2005:
Tonight members of the U.S. House of Representatives
pounded another nail in the coffin of family farms and
rural communities when they voted for the Central American
Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Champagne corks were popped
in the executive suites of ADM, Cargill, and Con Agra:
they, along with other multinational corporations, are
big CAFTA winners. The vast majority of citizens in
the U.S., the Dominican Republic, and Central American
countries are the losers.
Supporters have promised many benefits from CAFTA,
including prosperity and security for all countries
bound by the agreement. However, most of those same
pledges were made during the North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA) debate: and the results of NAFTA are
dismal. We fear that CAFTA’s passage will continue
to intensify the rural devastation that has sparked
massive migration from rural areas to cities and across
borders. If that happens, we intend to hold those who
negotiated and those who voted for CAFTA accountable.
An increasing number of people in the U.S. and around
the world have realized that free trade must be replaced
by fair trade. For more than two years, a broad and
massive coalition of citizens and organizations concerned
with social and economic justice in the Americas have
fought to defeat CAFTA.
The National Family Farm Coalition salutes the massive
organized grassroots opposition to CAFTA. We thank those
in the House and the Senate who stood up to the corporate
lobbyists and voted against CAFTA, thereby truly representing
the interests of America’s working people, including
farmers and ranchers.
The multinational corporations shouldn’t take
too much time to swill their victory champagne, because
the fight continues. The National Family Farm Coalition
will work with our partners all around the world to
defeat the agribusiness corporate agenda of the World
Trade Organization (WTO) and other unfair trade agreements.