US bishops urge Congress to evaluate free-trade agreement with moral criteria
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) are urging Congress to evaluate the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) based on moral criteria.

CAFTA is a trade and investment agreement negotiated between the United States and six Central American and Caribbean countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.

President George W. Bush is expected to ask Congress approve CAFTA in May.

The U.S. bishops and CRS stated that they do not officially support or oppose CAFTA, but they recognize that certain moral questions about the impact of trade agreements on people’s lives are generally not part of debate in developing agreements like this one.

They said members of Congress must engage in such evaluation and consider the following questions. 

  • How will CAFTA address the needs of small and medium-sized farms in the U.S. and Central America?
  • How will CAFTA protect the rights of workers and the environment?
  • How will people have a say in how CAFTA impacts their lives?
  • How will CAFTA’s intellectual property provisions impact the poor?
  • How will CAFTA promote integral human development, especially of the poor?

The bishops and CRS pointed out that, since the agreement was signed, there has been an absence of broad consultation with the people in the key sectors that will be affected. In addition, little information has been available in publicly accessible forms.

“CAFTA’s ability to increase opportunities for the poor and to enhance prospects that they will genuinely benefit from increased trade remains unclear,” the bishops said. “Trade policies must be framed within an integrated development agenda that incorporates measures to improve education, health care, and democratic participation.”

The bishops and CRS also called on Catholics to contact their members of Congress and urge them to engage in a moral evaluation of CAFTA.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20