Crafting a Better CAFTA

Publish Date: 
Simon Rosenberg, Robert J. Shapiro & Joe Garcia

The United States Congress has begun consideration of the Dominican Republic – Central America – United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). While many progressives have reasonably rejected the Bush Administration’s proposal as inadequate to the task and an abandonment of the formula that worked so well in the 1990s, we believe that an agreement with Central America is so important to how Americans approach the 21st century that we must commit ourselves to help negotiate and pass a better CAFTA.

At its core, the debate over this agreement requires progressives to face squarely our own vision of how globalization can and should work, as well as how America can best promote economic and political progress by our Latin American neighbors.

This memo makes our case for why progressives should not let the Bush Administration’s flawed agreement doom a good idea. We describe how progressives can improve CAFTA-DR so it can pass with broad bipartisan support, with changes that would both reinforce our commitment to a prosperous and democratic Latin America and make 21st century globalization work better for the American people.