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Rep. Kind, House New Democrat Leadership Announces Opposition to CAFTA

Location: Washington, DC

May 4, 2005

Washington, DC - Citing concerns for protecting workers' rights abroad and eroding investment in American workers at home, Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) and other leaders of the House New Democrat Coalition (NDC) today announced their opposition to the Dominican Republic - Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) in a letter sent to President Bush. The NDC is a group of moderate progrowth Democrats committed to innovative and common sense policies based on the Democratic principles of community, opportunity, responsibility, and security. During the press conference, Rep. Kind, a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, spoke about the importance of empowering the American workforce through a comprehensive and upgraded education and worker training policy. Rep. Kind's statement is below. The letter to President Bush is attached.

"The single most important factor in determining America's success in the 21st Century will be maintaining our innovation and creativity.

"Over the last few years, the world has become a smaller and more integrated place with technology which levels the playing field like never before. Greater competition and collaboration exists now between countries, companies, and individuals.

"Meeting this challenge requires a new set of big ideas. Instead of this administration being so eager to dismantle the new deal, it should be working with Congress to offer the American people a new 'New Deal.' "A new deal that will enable our people to compete successfully in the 21st Century economy with a renewed commitment to worker training programs, an education investment that emphasizes math, science and engineering, research funding in science and medicine, and a comprehensive broad-band strategy for all America.

"Instead, the Administration has been asleep at the wheel, wasting time on dismantling Social Security rather than empowering our workers, our students, and our children to be full participants in the 21st Century global economy.

"We believe that economics and trade need not be a zero-sum game; they can be win-win for everyone involved as long as people have the tools to succeed. When the Administration wants to get serious about this, we'll be more than happy to work with them on it.

"But until then, they cannot expect us to be crucial votes for an incomplete trade and economic policy that leaves Americans less able to be creative and innovative."

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