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Myth vs. Reality: CAFTA Cannot “Save” Central American Textile/Apparel Industry or Safeguard the U.S. Industry After WTO/MFA Quotas End

By Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

Supporters of the proposed Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) argue that the agreement would somehow shield the Central American nations from economic ruin. These sectors face a likely devastation to their textile and apparel industries and employment levels following the termination of the WTO’s (World Trade Organization) Multi Fiber Arrangement (MFA) textile and apparel quota system (MFA described below). CAFTA is a proposed expansion of NAFTA-style investment, trade, and deregulation rules to Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.