CAFTA Damage Report: “Flat-out, Completely, Horizontally Opposed to CAFTA,” Rep. Robin Hayes Flip-flops His Initial “No” Vote to “Yes” at Last Minute for Empty Promises on Textiles…Again

Public Citizen Launches CAFTA Damage Report to Track Outcome of Hayes’ Misguided Vote

By Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Turning his back on the textile and apparel workers in North Carolina’s 8th District, Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) dramatically reversed his previous opposition to the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) expansion of NAFTA to again become a deciding last vote that delivered CAFTA’s 217-215 passage, after being made vague promises by Republican leaders to help the U.S. textile and apparel industry.

In response to the unprincipled deal-making by Hayes, Public Citizen announced today a new initiative – the CAFTA Damage Report – to track the fallout from Hayes’ flip-flop in terms of the negative impact of CAFTA on working families in the United States, the foreseeable failure of his “deal” to materialize in real change and the political repercussions that Hayes is likely to suffer at the hands of angry constituents.

A week before the vote, Hayes stated that he was “flat-out, completely, horizontally opposed to CAFTA,” arguing that CAFTA is an extension of NAFTA that was “not in the best interest of a core constituency I represent. Every time I drive through Kannapolis and I see those empty plants, I know there is no way I could vote for CAFTA.” Hayes initially cast a “no” vote but then was persuaded by Republican House leaders to change his vote to a “yes” after the House Republican leadership kept the voting open 45 minutes past the time limit.