Central American Free Trade Agreement (Cafta)

The main provision of THE CAFTA-DR called for the immediate abolition of certain tariffs and others over a period of 15 to 20 years. Tariffs on more than half of U.S. agricultural exports were eliminated as soon as the agreement came into force. The main U.S. exports to CAFTA-DR countries were petroleum products, machinery, cereals, plastics and medical devices. Major U.S. imports included coffee, sugar, fruits and vegetables, cigars and petroleum products. Other CAFTA-DR provisions are expected to enable the United States to improve access to Central American markets in the banking, telecommunications, media, insurance and other service sectors, as well as procurement by the Central American and Dominican governments. The trade agreement included measures to ensure transparency and efficiency in all transactions and to protect workers` rights and the environment.

CAFTA-DR FTA Text The full text of the agreement is provided by the United States Trade Representative (USTR). CAFTA-DR also improves customs administration and removes technical barriers to trade. It covers public procurement, investment, telecommunications, e-commerce, rights, transparency, labour and environmental protection. CAFTA-DR is much smaller than other regional trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, currently the largest free trade area in the world. It would have been overshadowed by the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership if the negotiations had been concluded and the Trans-Pacific Partnership had been approved by Congress. Costa Rica held a referendum so that its citizens could decide whether they wanted to allow D.R.-CAFTA. On October 7, 2007, Costa Ricans voted in favour of the agreement. On 30 September 2008, CAFTA-DR countries agreed to extend the implementation period for Costa Rica until 1 January 2009, in accordance with Article 22.5.2.

On 14 November 2008, Costa Rica approved the final draft law on the implementation of CAFTA-DR. The Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) came into force on January 1, 2009 for Costa Rica. Today, Donald Trump is the scapegoat for the economic insecurity faced by many Americans, for whom he is scapegoating with his racist attacks and xenophobic obsession with building a wall along our southern border. But it is the same U.S. trade policy that harms workers in the United States, which many in Central America have left no choice but migration, as they struggle to feed and support their families. On 18 February 2005, the seven CAFTA members signed two agreements to facilitate the transposition of environmental provisions into their free trade agreement.