Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Six of nine Tennessee legislators voted for Central American trade agreement

The Nashville Business Journal reports that Tennessee's federal legislators voted 6-3 to facilitate trade with Central America via the CAFTA-DR treaty.

"The Central America and Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by two votes early Thursday with support from six of Tennessee's nine representatives."

"Republicans Marsha Blackburn, John Duncan Jr., William Jenkins and Zach Wamp voted to pass the bill. Democrats John Tanner and 5th District Congressman Jim Cooper also supported the bill."

"Democratic representatives Lincoln David, Bart Gordon, and Harold Ford Jr. voted against CAFTA-DR."

"Key to the trade agreement is the two-way elimination of tariffs between the United States and five Central American countries."

A more in-depth report on KnoxNews.com quoted the supporters as saying that CAFTA-DR would help Tennessee businesses and reduce illegal immigration from Central America. The opponents say they fear jobs will be lost in the U.S. in favor of cheap Central American labor.

Businesses gave differing opinions of the trade agreement in this bizjournals.com article.

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