The Senate Finance Committee today voted 11-9 in favor of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). During the Committee meeting, numerous Senators expressed concerns about CAFTA, focusing primarily labor issues affecting US workers, although little was said about improving conditions for workers in Central America. Despite the supposed concern over labor issues, an amendment proposed by Senator John Kerry that would strengthen CAFTA’s dispute mechanism for labor rights was defeated. Many see the close vote in the Senate, which generally supports neoliberal trade agreements, as indicative of the immense difficulties facing CAFTA as it moves forward in the legislature. CAFTA will be taken up tomorrow in the House of Representatives by the Ways and Means Committee. A draft version of the House bill implementing CAFTA has been posted online.