In the news today, CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement) passed by a narrow margin of 217-215. It's a step in the right direction, but I'm reluctant to say this is truly a victory for free trade, particularly when I read, "To allay lawmakers' concerns about the U.S. sugar and textile industries, the administration also won over several Republicans by pledging protection from Central American imports." Protection? From imports that might compete with U.S. companies if we had genuinely free trade?
After reading the numerous restrictions that compose this "Free Trade Agreement," Russell Roberts at Cafe Hayek thinks maybe a more appropriate name is CAMTA, for Central American Managed Trade Agreement.
It's sad to see another set of restrictions on trade passed off as "free trade." Protectionism and free trade don't mix.