CAFTA Damage Report: After Freshman Congressman Tim Murphy Provides Vote That Passed CAFTA, Constituents Ask: Did Murphy Vote for CAFTA to Gain Favor With GOP Leaders, Win Corporate Campaign Contributors or Get Pork Barrel Funds?

Public Citizen Launches CAFTA Damage Report to Track Results of Misguided CAFTA Votes

By Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ignoring the will of his constituents and the devastating impact that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has had on his state, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) became a deciding “yes” vote for a six-nation NAFTA expansion called the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), which eked through the House of Representatives 217 to 215. Had Murphy voted against CAFTA, a 216-216 tie would have resulted and CAFTA would have been rejected. Many of Murphy’s constituents were opposed to both trade agreements because Pennsylvania has lost nearly a quarter of its manufacturing jobs since NAFTA.1

“That a member of Congress who is supposed to represent one of the states hardest hit by NAFTA job loss would become a deciding vote to expand NAFTA is unimaginable, given the damage the NAFTA model caused to working people in his district,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.

Given Murphy’s espoused dedication to creating good U.S. jobs and to ensuring affordable health care, Murphy’s constituents are wondering why the new congressman would support the controversial agreement, which includes new protections for pharmaceutical companies to raise drug prices and which is projected by government studies to increase the job-killing U.S. trade deficit.