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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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Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, I have been sitting listening to this debate, and there are some points that are being missed. Everybody says we should not open our markets to Central America. They are already open to Central America. We already gave them free access to the American market.

Everybody says this is going to encourage companies to relocate to Central America. That is what we are doing today. The current system is an incentive to relocate because right now an American company can move to Central America, build their equipment or product there, and bring it back tariff free to the United States.

Right now if we want to sell a product into these countries, we have to build it there. We have to relocate jobs there if we want to sell it there in order to avoid these tariffs.

Mr. Speaker, what this simply does is open up their markets as we have opened up ours to them. It takes a one-way trade agreement and makes it a two-way trade agreement because we are already giving them free and fair access. That is what I call fair trade, having them treat us as we treat them.

Look at what it does in just my own State of Wisconsin. The corn tariffs, our tariff on corn, 35 percent; tariff on their corn, zero. That goes to zero tomorrow if this passes.

Tariff on American soybeans going into the CAFTA countries, 20 percent; tariff on theirs coming here, zero. Our tariffs goes to zero tomorrow.

Manufacturing goods, most of our products in the State of Wisconsin that are exported is our manufacturing sector. This takes those manufacturing tariffs and drops them so we can export more manufacturing goods and keep these jobs in Wisconsin. This is good for our States. This is good for our economy.

I heard Members say it is bad for labor. Most Republicans and Democrats voted for the Moroccan trade agreement. This is even stronger than that Moroccan trade agreement. This is the strongest labor agreement of any trade agreement that we have brought to this floor to date.

Mr. Speaker, lastly, it is no secret the antidemocracy movement is trying to stop this. Let us strike a blow for democracy and help these fledgling democracies and pass this bill.

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