House leaders want to bring the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) to a vote next Thursday. Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Calif., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced CAFTA in the House Tuesday.
Both China and North American Free Trade Agreement concerns are preventing several Republicans from supporting the pact. Thomas reconfirmed plants this week to introduce legislation to address China's trading practices before the House votes on CAFTA.
According to an ongoing CongressDaily survey, 28 Republicans oppose or are leaning against CAFTA. Individuals from sugar and textile states are still unsure of the impact CAFTA will have on the industries. Labor issues are also a hot issue for Democrats.
The Bush administration, hoping to boost support for a Central American free-trade deal, outlined on Tuesday how it would spend an initial $20 million to help its trade partners' records on workers' rights.
A new free trade agreement with Central America could boost the cost of the federal price support program for sugar by $500 million over the next 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday.