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Statement By Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns Regarding Passage of CAFTA by the U.S. House of Representatives
July 28, 2005
"I commend the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the U.S.-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). This is an immensely positive step for America's farmers and ranchers for a number of reasons.
"The agreement eliminates barriers to our producers and greatly improves our competitiveness in these markets. These are natural markets for our producers and new access will offer many new business opportunities.
"In a broader context, today's vote sends a strong signal to our trading partners that the United States continues to be a vigorous leader in attaining global free trade. Passage of CAFTA-DR provides new momentum for the Doha Round and other negotiations.
"The implications of this trade agreement extend well beyond agriculture. Strengthening economic ties with our neighbors in this hemisphere is a matter of vital national importance. All of our nations benefit from a more stable, secure, and prosperous hemisphere."