Why has CAFTA, like U.S. trade agreements before and after, failed to reduce widespread labour abuses? Kim Elliot, a member of the U.S. Free Trade Agreements` U.S. Free Trade Agreements, recently proposed this statement bluntly: the working provisions of U.S. trade agreements „are included because they are necessary to get congressional business.“ She added: „This is really about policy, not how to raise labour standards in these countries.“ Ten years ago, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative CAFTA sold as the „best trade agreement of all time on work“ and boasted of world-class work rules. These provisions did not prevent the assassination of 68 Guatemalan trade unionists during the seven years of the pact without a single arrest. In 2008, the AFL-CIO and Guatemalan trade unions filed a formal complaint in accordance with CAFTA`s labour rules and called for an end to widespread anti-union violence, wage theft and other abuses. It was only six years and dozens of killings of trade unionists later that the U.S. government made an arbitration on the case. The United States has lost this case and proves that the labour standards model in U.S. trade agreements is profoundly flawed.
(If a case related to serious and endemic violence against trade unionists in Guatemala cannot be won, where could a case be successful under these rules….) Guatemalan trade union workers still face frequent attacks with almost total impunity. Worse still, CAFTA has contributed to the economic instability in the region. Development organizations have warned against CAFTA`s very thin passage that the agreement could lead to the ouster of family farmers, who make up a significant part of the workforce in Central America, by forcing them to compete directly with the heavily subsidized U.S. agricultural industry. Agricultural imports from the United States have doubled in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala since the agreement came into force, while countries` agricultural balance with the United States has declined, reflecting farmers` movements. Today, Donald Trump is the scapegoat for the economic insecurity faced by many Americans, for whom he is scapegoating with his racist attacks and xenophobic obsession with building a wall along our southern border. But it is the same U.S. trade policy that harms workers in the United States, which many in Central America have left no choice but migration, as they struggle to feed and support their families. Letter on the continuation of the program „807“ [PDF format, 6 KB] . | agreement Disciplines | Changes in | trade policy | country Trade and SMEs | What`s new| SiteMap-| | Resources Search| Disclaimer Letter on wildlife, forestry, and zoning [PDF format, 10 KB] Today, in Central America, life-saving drugs are more expensive because of CAFTA`s monopoly protection for pharmaceutical companies. And the headlines in several CAFTA countries do not talk about economic prosperity, but about economic instability, drug-related violence and forced migration.
Meanwhile, CAFTA`s labour rules have failed to stop the killing of dozens of Central American trade union workers who were trying to stop unbridled work abuses, such as wage theft.