Administration blocked release of reports on Central America trade agreement

KESQ Channel 3

WASHINGTON Internal Bush Administration documents show the Labor Department kept secret government studies that support Democratic opponents of the White House's new Central American trade deal.

The administration and some members of Congress want to eliminate trade barriers with Central America. They say that would open new markets for U-S farmers and manufacturers.

However, critics argue the agreement would allow serious labor violations to continue in Central America.

And the studies, paid for by the Labor Department and reviewed by The Associated Press, conclude that several countries have poor working conditions and fail to protect workers' rights.

However, the documents show the agency dismissed those conclusions as inaccurate and biased.