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Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act

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Location: Washington, DC


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC-CENTRAL AMERICA-UNITED STATES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT IMPLEMENTATION ACT -- (House of Representatives - July 27, 2005)

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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Florida for yielding me this time and for his great leadership on this important issue.

America is the beacon of hope, the beacon of freedom and hope and opportunity for so many people. It was the beacon of hope and opportunity for my family when we came over from Cuba. America spreads democracy to every corner of the world. We stand firm in the belief that every person is entitled to the freedom that we in the United States are so fortunate to enjoy. Open trade and free markets with democracies play key roles in sustaining that vision.

This House tonight will demonstrate our unwavering commitment to the spread of democracy by passing CAFTA. Some countries in this region were riddled with internal strife and political instability. I know. I represent many of those people who escaped from that internal strife in their countries. Although many of them have traveled a long way toward democracy in their homelands, now their homelands have arrived. They have democracies, and they are flourishing. But they need our help.

CAFTA will be a critical tool in maintaining this momentum towards a prosperous future. Not only will it promote expanded development and openness in the region; CAFTA will also create new opportunities, economic opportunities, jobs and growth, by eliminating tariffs, by promoting transparency, and by opening markets to U.S. products going abroad.

We have a commitment to work together to promote civil society, the rule of law, and to spread democracy throughout the world; and CAFTA-DR will help us achieve that commitment.

(The gentlewoman from Florida spoke in Spanish.)

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