March 29,2005

Grassley Reschedules CAFTA Hearing to Avoid Scheduling Conflict

WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, today announced he has rescheduled a full committee hearing on the United States-Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). The hearing had beenscheduled for Wednesday, April 6, at 10 a.m. Now it will be Wednesday, April 13, at 10 a.m. in 628Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Grassley said the rescheduling came because a joint session of Congress for UkrainianPresident Victor Yushenko is now scheduled for April 6, thus creating a scheduling conflict forcommittee members.

“CAFTA is the foundation of our relationship with the Dominican Republic and CentralAmerica,” Grassley said. “It’s an important agreement that will provide significant benefits to, manufacturers and service workers. I believe the U.S. Congress needs to turn our attentionto this important agreement soon. Our Finance Committee hearing will be a key first step. CAFTAis an important part of the Finance Committee’s trade agenda. It deserves the early attention of theSenate.”

The hearing will address general issues surrounding the trade agreement. A date for informalcommittee consideration of the implementing legislation by the Finance Committee, which hasjurisdiction over international trade, has not been set.

Central America and the Dominican Republic make up the second-largest U.S. export marketin Latin America, behind Mexico and larger than Brazil.