Bush Almost Suffers Second Defeat in Only a Few Days

July 30 11:36 2005 Print This Article

President offers lucrative deals to get support

WASHINGTON, July 30 – After the defection by Republican Senate leader Frist on the issue of stem cell research earlier this week Bush almost suffered a second setback in the same week, this time on the CAFTA bill which only passed the House of Representatives with only a two vote margin.

The trade agreement is relatively small, only including the U.S. and six small South American countries but the stakes were high. The credibility of the Bush administration was at stake yet the growing fear of globalisation almost meant a downfall for Bush. Intensive lobbying from his side along with vice-president Dick Cheney gained him the almost negligible margin, but not without a cost. Side deals were made a lot, offering high-profile committee posts, new highways and protective measures for certain industries support was gathered. This obviously does not show great support to GWB and the fact that he had to bribe his way to pass this bill, at may we stress again – two votes! – must raise concerns in the White House.

As comparison, the NAFTA bill passed in 1993 by Bill Clinton had great support from both sides, this trade agreement included Mexico and Canada while the CAFTA only includes the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala. Their total yearly export to the U.S. is at par with only five weeks worth of export from Mexico! This just emphasizes the political battle that took place, and it guarantees rough roads ahead for Bush and company.

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