What Price CAFTA?


It may take some time to find out exactly what CAFTA's passage cost the nation in the way of hand-outs for Yes-votes. Consider Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC), an absolute eleventh-hour convert for CAFTA after repeatedly vowing to oppose the trade pact. He says the GOP leadership promised him "any and everything" for his district in exchange for his crucial CAFTA vote.

House Speaker Denny Hastert recalls things differently, a mere pledge to "be there to help" Hayes and his district. Reading between the lines I surmise Hayes thinks he has absolutely insulated his sprawling district, which runs from the Charlotte burbs to Ft. Bragg, from any and all negative impacts of the Pentagon's base-closing plans.

We'll see.

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  1. If Hayes is naive enough to trade a vote for a vague-ass promise like that, he and his constituents both deserve what they will get.

    Cheaper goods from South America, that’s what.

    Oh, and probably not much at all in the way of concessions down the road from leadership. I sure hope not, and I know how short politician’s memories can be, at least when it comes to remembering something they promised to do for someone else.

  2. I don’t know the price, but I know who’s paying.

  3. For all we know, Speaker Hastert offered to orally copulate Rep Hayes in exchange for his vote. No, I don’t have any evidence, I’m just saying, for all we know…

  4. Is Hayes son planning a run for office?


  5. This (pdf) is the DOD base closing/realignment list. Fort Bragg is picking up about 4,325 people. Pope AFB, which may or may not be in his district (pdf) (it’s around Fayetteville and his district extends to F’ville, but just to part of the edge of the city..if Pope is to the north, then it’s not in his district, but I’d assume some jobs come with having the AFB even close by), is scheduled to lose 4821 military jobs and pick up 808 civilian positions (go figure). Anyway, overall, NC’s losing 568 military positions (mostly at Pope) and gaining 307 civilian positions, mostly driven by these two bases in and/or around his district.

    I second R C Dean’s “they deserve what they get.”

  6. R.C. Dean,

    CAFTA largely makes “permanent” what was already in place. I don’t believe you are going to see any cheaper goods from CENTRAL AMERICA. Boy, you sure do suck at geography.

  7. For all we know, Speaker Hastert offered to orally copulate Rep Hayes in exchange for his vote.

    So, the giant sucking sound continues!

    Anyone have links to good PRO CAFTA web sites (besides here and CATO) to read up on it? I’d do a Google search, but I’m not feeling lucky as I’m sure I’d be bombarded with links to organizations that have Jeanne Garafalo as national spokesperson.

  8. Born Again –

    You won’t find many good pro-CAFTA sites, given that it’s a crummy trade deal. The Cato Institute’s “Case For CAFTA” was largely an attempt to excuse the fact that CAFTA will only minimally reduce US trade barriers.

  9. I haven’t read the CAFTA text but if Congressional Republicans are arm-twisting to get it passed, I suspect it has nothing to do with free trade and everything to do with cronyism.

  10. …and everything to do with cronyism.

    Oh, business as usual, eh?

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