Contact: Christie Hobbs
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WASHINGTON, DC — The Independent Women’s Forum today released a paper that examines the benefits of free trade for women and makes the case that women in particular benefit from further trade liberalization.

The issue of trade liberalization will take center stage in the coming weeks as Congress considers adoption of the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). If passed, CAFTA would remove the majority of current trade barriers between the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

“Free trade is particularly important for women,” says Sara Cooper, IWF visiting fellow and author of the paper. “Women handle the vast majority of shopping for their families and therefore recognize one of the primary benefits of free trade which is lower prices.”

“Congress needs to do more to continue to break down barriers that hinder the free exchange of goods between countries. After all, trade barriers are essentially a tax: they raise the prices of the products we buy and reduce the buying power of a family budget.”

Continues Cooper: “Existing barriers are making products crucial to American families — from our cars and homes to our food and clothing — more expensive. Reducing these barriers would be an important step to helping families improve their quality of life.”

The Independent Women’s Forum urges the Congress to do more to remove the barriers that hinder the free exchange of goods between countries.