A strong anti-CAFTA opinion piece appeared on the editorial pages of the
Washington Post last week. Harold Meyerson blasted CAFTA as enriching only drug companies and other multi-national corporations and offering no benefits for workers in the US or Central America:
Though the rules laid down by the World Trade Organization permit generic competition, CAFTA imposes a five -to-10 year waiting period on generic [drug] competitors, unless they conduct their own time-and-money-consuming clinical trials for the very same drugs that have already passed such trials. CAFTA thus effectively ensures the drug companies an extension of their monopoly on high-priced medications. It also ensures that thousands of Central Americans in need of such medications will have to go without.
This is just one of a number of cautionary tales illustrating the fundamental reality of most of our trade accords: They are designed to maximize corporate profits no matter the cost to the peoples of the signatory nations.