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Public Statements

Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


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

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Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

I rise in strong opposition to this legislation. As many Members know, I frequently vote no in this House because I have a very strict rule. The rule is I look to Article I, section 8 for authority. Article I, section 8 gives very precise items that we have authority over. One is foreign commerce. We, the Congress alone, have authority over regulating foreign commerce.

This bill is a violation of that provision in the Constitution. We as a Congress have done something over the past several years that is unconstitutional in transferring this power first to the President and then to an international bureaucratic agency. This is wrong. It is not practical. It is not beneficial, it is unconstitutional, and it is a threat to our national sovereignty.

Members say it is not a threat to our national sovereignty and that we can veto what they tell us to do; but it does not happen that way. If we were interested in free trade, as the pretense is, you could initiate free trade in one small paragraph. This bill is over 1,000 pages, and it is merely a pretext for free trade.

At the same time we talk about free trade, we badger China, and that is not free trade. I believe in free trade, but this is not free trade. This is regulated, managed trade for the benefit of special interests. That is why I oppose it.

There is one specific provision in this bill that bothers me a lot, and that has to do with the Codex Alimentarius. These are rules and regulations written by the WTO, accepted by the European community, and it is specifically mentioned in this bill in chapter 6, paragraph number 6, and it talks about a forum where you can come and complain about regulation on vitamins and nutritional products.

If Members are interested in freedom to buy vitamins without going to a doctor for a prescription, you have to vote against this bill. If you want international harmonization of nutrition and vitamins, you can vote for this bill, but I am opposed to that, and most Americans are as well. Vote no on this legislation.

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