BAD NEWS--At about 10:30pm on July 27, 2005, the U.S. House passed the DR-CAFTA with 217 in favor and 215 opposed.   To see how your representative voted, CLICK HERE.  The U.S. Senate passed their version of the bill (S. 1307) on June 30, 2005, with 54 voting in favor of the bill, and 45 opposed.  To see how your senator voted, CLICK HERE. The bill was signed into law by President Bush on August 2, 2005.

The DR-CAFTA will have serious consequences for wildlife, habitat, farmed animals and marine creatures.  The new regulations will enable U.S. meat producers to expand markets into Central America, and open previously protected waters to commercial fisheries.  The Agreement is supported by the American Meat Institute and the National cattlemenís Beef Association, who have already announced their intention to expand the market.  Experts have estimated that U.S. agriculture exports will be increased by approximately $1.5 billion per year, much of it from animal products. 

The Agreement encourages large, corporate farms that are notorious for animal cruelty.  Like most free trade agreements, the DR-CAFTA caters to corporations and would supercede a countryís own laws, such as environmental and animal protection legislation, replacing those laws with international, corporation-friendly legislation.  If a country interferes with a corporationís ability to make a profit (by enforcing animal protection legislation, for example), then the corporation may sue the country for millions of dollars. 

For more information about DR-CAFTA,