CAFTA Deals Watchdog Report: Pennsylvania Republican Flip-flops on CAFTA NAFTA Expansion in Exchange for House Vote on Limited China Bill that Faces Uncertain Senate, White House Veto Prospects

Rep. Phil English Solves His Chairman Bill Thomas Problem, While Ignoring the NAFTA Expansion and China Problems of His Manufacturing Constituents

By Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

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Washington, D.C. – Most people recognize that the current U.S.-China trade relationship needs dramatic change. Most of Congress and the public recognize that the controversial proposed Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) NAFTA expansion is a very bad idea. And almost all recognize that these are two very separate matters.

Representative Phil English (R-Pa.) also had a third big problem: the extreme ire of Representative Bill Thomas, the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee on which English serves. English had opposed CAFTA, which Thomas champions, in two committee votes and was pushing several pieces of China legislation that Thomas opposed.

Now English has decided to prioritize fixing his Chairman Thomas problem over taking
care of the interests of his Pennsylvania district, a district that has seen its once robust manufacturing base devastated by bad trade policy. In Pennsylvania, many business owners have joined working people in opposing CAFTA NAFTA expansion and in demanding action to revalue China’s currency – the manipulation of which serves as a subsidy for Chinese exports and bolsters the $162 billion U.S. trade deficit with China.