16 organizations representing taxpayers, shareholders, and small businesses sign letter to Speaker Hastert

WASHINGTON – Sixteen major conservative organizations have signed a letter to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert urging approval of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). The letter was signed by Alliance for Worker Freedom, American Conservative Union, American Shareholders Association, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, Club for Growth, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Free Enterprise Fund, FreedomWorks, Frontiers of Freedom, Kemp Partners, National Taxpayers Union, Property Rights Alliance, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, and 60 Plus.

A copy of the letter can be accessed at: http://www.atr.org/content/pdf/2005/jul/072605lt_cafta_coalition.pdf

Under the Caribbean Basin Initiative, the six countries in CAFTA can already import 80 percent of their products to the U.S. market duty free. CAFTA would give U.S. producers parallel access. Historically, expanded trade has raised living standards across the board. CAFTA not only provides many benefits to the U.S., but will also promote growth, prosperity, and stability in the six other countries. These countries have made many strides toward freedom and democracy, both of which are clearly part of U.S. interests abroad.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform noted, “CAFTA is a win-win situation for all involved. It will lower prices, benefiting consumers in all the countries. The widespread support from these conservative organizations demonstrates the merits of this trade deal.”

The passage of CAFTA is also imperative to show that the United States supports the Latin American countries who have embraced free markets and economic liberalization. The leaders of these countries have taken great political risks in pushing for CAFTA, and the U.S. rejection of the deal could leave these countries vulnerable to leftist protectionism and isolationism.

Norquist continued, “Approving CAFTA is critical for our credibility on free trade and democracy. If we want to see emerging market democracies succeed and trade barriers continued to be lowered, we must pass CAFTA.”