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Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)

The Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) is an expansion of NAFTA to five Central American nations (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua), and the Dominican Republic. It was signed May 28, 2004, and passed through the U.S. House of Representatives by one vote in the middle of the night by the U.S. Congress on July 27, 2005. Visit our CAFTA Damage Report to see Public Citizen's analysis of some of the most unfortunate "Yes" votes that helped pass CAFTA.

CAFTA is based on the same failed neoliberal NAFTA model, which has displaced family farmers in trade partner countries, exacerbated the "race to the bottom" in labor and environmental standards and promoted privatization and deregulation of key public services.

CAFTA proponents promised that the deal would bring prosperity to Central America, causing violence and immigration to the United States to decline. The opposite has happened. Central America is facing unprecedented levels of gang and drug-related violence, and immigration from Central America to the United States has surged. Evidence suggests that CAFTA itself has contributed to the economic instability, feeding the region's increase in violence and forced migration.


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