PASCRELL BLASTS CAFTA AS THE WRONG DEAL FOR DOMESTIC MANUFACTURING
June 21, 2005
PLEDGES TO FIGHT AGAINST AGREEMENT WHICH WILL CONTINUE LOSS OF INDUSTRIAL AND PRODUCTION JOBS
WASHINGTON --- U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ-08) joined his colleagues Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH-13) and Rep. Walter B. Jones (D-NC-03), and representatives from business and industry, for a press conference to denounce the fatally flawed CAFTA agreement. Rep. Pascrell is a lifelong resident and former Mayor of Paterson, NJ. Nicknamed the "Silk City" for its long history of textile production, Paterson was sited by Alexander Hamilton as a planned manufacturing city.
Rep. Pascrell made the following statement in support of the business groups:
"The industry leaders speaking here today recognize that our current trade policy is not working and has not been functional for some time. The Bush Administration has not only continued, but increased its support for multinational imports over domestic industries. New Jersey has lost 104,000 manufacturing jobs since 1998. Congress must take the initiative and stop blindly approving free trade agreement after agreement as we hemorrhage family-wage manufacturing jobs.
We cannot ignore that we live in a global economy. But we must adjust accordingly and use our vast marketplace to our advantage.
What we are experiencing now is the set up of a perfect storm. Rapidly growing trade deficits, combined with our massive budget deficit, will soon prove unsustainable. Last year, our nation's trade deficit was $618 billion and escalating rapidly.
This Congress must defeat unfair free trade agreements until we start forming trade policy rationally and in our own best interests. If we fail to stop this agreement, the consequences for our economic competitiveness and vitality are dangerous. We will all be drowning in a sea of red ink.
Looking at the TPLs deals and expanded cumulation, this CAFTA agreement continues the failed model of encouraging investment and job creation outside the US at the direct expense of domestic jobs and investment.
I believe that we should stop promulgating trade agreements until we put together a comprehensive plan to help our manufacturing sector and stop the rapidly growing trade deficit."