Wednesday, August 26, 2009

CAFTA as a Political Tool, Probably Not

I may be wrong about this and welcome other alternative or agreeing opinions on this, because I am going on what I know about CAFTA. 

CAFTA was agreed to by Congress and the Senate and signed by the president so if I am not mistaken any rejection of a member of the signed law would have to be again voted by Congress and the Senate and approved since it is concidered a LAW and not a treaty in the US. CAFTA is public law 109-053 and was signed into law by George Bush.

If there is a dispute that arises between two members of CAFTA about the deal they have to go to dispute resolution, this is actually in the agreement.  The two members have the right to select independent groups to represent them in the resolutions. If a dispute rises under CAFTA or WTO they can choose either forum to resolve the dispute in.

So even though the Dominican Republic propsed they be suspended that isn´t the way it works.  In the US anyway they would have to vote on it before Congress and that is not likely to happen.  Second, they would have to resolve any dispute through dispute resolution.  There is no way to punish a partner for not doing what you want them to if they have met the agreement and no where does it say anything about maintaining a form of government acceptable to others in the agreement.

The US could suspend the CAFTA agreement but they would have to suspend it as a whole is my understanding which would include revoking the entire agreement.

Update: A few minutes ago I read the press briefing from yesterday with the Dept of State about CAFTA and Honduras.  Basically I am probably right.  They admitted that they are not looking at suspending Honduras from CAFTA because it is basically impossible and doesn´t work like that.  They would have to essentially suspend all six countries in order to suspend Honduras and even that is complicated.
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2009/aug/128373.htm

QUESTION: Okay. I found it interesting. There was a letter sent to – sent to the Senate that said that it was unlikely that big trade sanctions would be made on Honduras. I wanted to ask, and this is sort of a technical question, is that due to the structure of CAFTA, which is a six nation treaty? Like for instance, if you cut one off, you’d have to cut all six off? Does it have to do with that or does it have to do with perhaps the interconnectedness of industries through Central America, and if you disrupted one you might disrupt them all?


SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: It has to do with the provisions in CAFTA.

QUESTION: It does have to do with CAFTA, okay – how it’s structured?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Right.

QUESTION: Okay, thank you.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: The binding agreement with CAFTA.


QUESTION: Exactly. Okay, thanks

What really gets me about the end of this interview is the cluelessness about this official.  He didn´t seem to even know that Micheletti had offered to step down and let a third party take over instead of Zelaya finishing his term.  They cannot even seem to figure out what a coup is or isn´t...which tells me we have the most incompentent nincapoops ever running the State department.  They talk about legislative and judicial coups? What? There is no such thing as a judicial coup or legislative coup there is only a military coup and if it isn´t a military coup folks it isn´t a coup...I think it is play by them so that later if one of their liberal buddies is removed via impeachment in the US, like Obama, they can also scream that it was a coup.

OAS Commission was Not Allowed to Comment to Press

The commission was not allowed to comment anything to the press other than their support of San Jose.
One of the specific people not allowed to make comments was Canada.  I believe there may be a growing discontent and a disconnect of alliances over the situation in Honduras including Canada, Panama, maybe Mexico, and perhaps the United States.  Columbia has certainly disconnected as has Peru.