TIA applauds Senate for passing legislation for free trade agreement

July 1, 2005 - U.S.-Dominican Republic - Central America Free Trade Agreement now goes to the House of Representatives.

The Telecommunications Industry Association has applauded the United States Senate for passing implementing legislation last night, by a 54-45 vote, for the U.S.- Dominican Republic - Central America Free Trade Agreement.

The TIA reports that after more than two years of negotiations and debate, it is pleased to see this precedent-setting agreement pass by a comfortable margin.

TIA President Matthew J. Flanigan says the TIA strongly believes that the agreement, DR-CAFTA, will benefit its member companies - information and communications technology suppliers - as well as the broader U.S. manufacturing and service communities.

"We couldn't be more pleased," says Flanigan. "TIA, in support of and in partnership with our friends in the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the Department of Commerce, fellow trade associations, DR-CAFTA party-countries and Capitol Hill, worked tirelessly to convey the benefits and long-term positive impact of this agreement on the U.S. telecom community and the economy.

"In addition, the precedent-setting nature of this agreement - in terms of Costa Rica's first-ever telecommunications commitments, capacity-building assistance for labor and the environment and methods for addressing labor violations - are valuable 'wins' for our country," Flanigan continues. "We are very happy to see the Senate's endorsement of an agreement that levels the playing field with our partner countries and which will create jobs and grow our economy. Once again, we congratulate the Senate on a job well done."

Flanigan says the TIA will now turn its focus on the House of Representatives to help educate congressman and address questions and concerns about the contents of the agreement. A vote on the floor of the House is expected within the next few weeks.

The TIA is based in Arlington, VA. For more information visit www.tiaonline.org.


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