For the latest updates on CAFTA, please see the relevant section of our blog, Eyes on Trade.
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. El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic have also approved the agreement. Costa Rica has yet to vote on the agreement.
CAFTA is a piece in the FTAA jigsaw puzzle, and is based on the same failed neoliberal NAFTA model, which has caused the "race to the bottom" in labor and environmental standards and promotes privatization and deregulation of key public services.
Due to strong resistance by several of the CAFTA countries’ parliaments who, when confronted by the reality of having to make the far-reaching changes to public health and other domestic laws required by the agreement are reluctant to actually implement the deal, the Bush administration was forced to delay the planned Jan. 1, 2006 implementation.
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