Pelosi Statement Against Central American Free Trade Agreement
Washington, D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today in opposition to the Central American Free Trade Agreement following a speech to the AFL-CIO's Industrial Union Council:
"I want to make one thing clear right off the bat: I oppose CAFTA. And as Democratic Leader, I'm here to tell you that Democrats will not support the Central American Free Trade Agreement in its current form.
"We are not going to stand for labor and environmental protections here at home, only to see trade agreements that eviscerate those standards internationally. And we're not going to stand for agreements that kick America's manufacturing sector when it's down.
"In two days, all of the Presidents from the Central American countries included in CAFTA will be meeting with President Bush at the White House to proclaim their support for CAFTA. Well, President Bush can hear from the Presidents. We're going to listen to the people.
"With a lot less fanfare, but, to me, a lot more weight than the words of the their Presidents, workers from Central America have spoken to you and spoken to me about why they are opposed to this agreement. And we're proud to stand with them.
"President Bush thinks this is a good deal for him. Democrats are interested in a fair deal for American workers. This country has lost 2.8 million manufacturing jobs since President Bush took office. The Central American Free Trade Agreement will only dig the hole deeper. Mr. President, you've put American workers in a hole. It's time to quit digging."