Sunday, October 12, 2008

Free Trade is an Hispanic Cause Says Alliance

The Austin-based Hispanic Alliance for Prosperity has released action alerts supporting the Central America Free Trade Agreement and the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.
According to HAPI, the proposed FTA with Colombia will “bolster the efforts of President Uribe and the Colombian people as they continue to collaborate with the United States in the fight against those forces seeking to destabilize the region through drugs and terror.” Taking issue with critics who oppose the FTA because of Colombia’s human rights abuses, HAPI says “that arguments about violence committed against labor organizers have been condemned in the national media as exaggerated and blind to the extraordinary and successful efforts of the Uribe administration to reduce violent crime and provide security to union officials.”
HAPI recommends that Latinos send this letter to their congressional representatives: “As a Hispanic American, I am keenly aware of both the benefits and challenges of America’s diplomatic and trade relationship with Latin America. This agreement will promote the long sought and elusive concept of “fair trade” and propose a win-win scenario for businesses and workers on both sides of the border. I ask that you bring the Colombian Fair Trade Agreement up for a vote this year in 2008 without any further delay. “
The web address of this Take Action initiative is: That's because HAPI is closely tied to the Business-Industrial Political Action Committee or Bipac, a corporate coalition that promotes a free-market, free trade agenda in Washington. (Note the address and spelling of Colombia.)
In May 2005 HAPI joined with the Hispanic Alliance for Free Trade to promote the CAFTA-DR free trade agreement with Central America and the Dominican Republic. The institute organized a Washington, DC conference at the Organization of American States in support of the free trade agreement.
According to HAPI’s Manuel Lujan, “Hispanic Americans are united to these countries by language and similarities in culture, as well as by the increased opportunities in commerce. Passage of DR-CAFTA will better prepare these developing countries to compete in the global economy.”
The Hispanic Trade Alliance for Free, organized by the National Foreign Trade Council and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, stated: “DR-CAFTA was and continues to be an issue of great importance to Hispanic Americans who share strong familial, cultural, language and important economic ties with Central America.”

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