Public Citizen Launches CAFTA Damage Report to Track Outcome of Rep. Aderholt Misguided Vote
By Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch
WASHINGTON, D.C. – After the Bush administration explicitly rejected his demands that the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) not include provisions harmful to Alabama’s sock industry, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) dramatically reversed his opposition to the expansion of NAFTA to six countries and became a deciding last vote, delivering CAFTA’s passage in a final 217-215 vote. After telling local industry and constituents that he opposed CAFTA because the administration had refused to safeguard his state’s sock producers when changes to CAFTA were possible, Aderholt explained his sudden reversal by stating that Republican leaders had pledged to help the sock industry. Among the unenforceable, last-minute “promises” made to obtain CAFTA votes, Aderholt’s “sock deal” stands out. The analysis of Aderholt’s CAFTA vote flip-flop is part of a new Public Citizen initiative – the CAFTA Damage Report – designed to track deals made for CAFTA votes. The report also will track the fallout from Aderholt’s deciding vote for CAFTA on working families in his district and on U.S. sock manufacturers, as well as the foreseeable failure of his “deal” to ever materialize.