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.
- CAFTA's Decade of Empty Promises Haunts the TPP (July 28, 2015)
- Find out more on the blog: Read the latest updates on CAFTA on Eyes on Trade
- Chart: See all corporate investor-state cases launched under U.S. 'trade' deals
- Railroad Development Corporation (RDC) vs Guatemala
- Pacific Rim Cayman LLC vs Republic of El Salvador
- Commerce Group Corporation vs Republic of El Salvador
- The NAFTA-CAFTA Legacy: Failed Trade Policy That Drove Millions From Their Homes (May 2018)
- Updated Factsheet:Job-killing Trade Deficits Surge Under FTAs: U.S. Trade Deficits Grow 568% With FTA Countries, but Decline 15% With Non-FTA Countries (May 2018)
- Prosperity Undermined: The Status Quo Trade Model's 21-Year Record of Massive U.S. Trade Deficits, Job Loss and Wage Suppression (August 20, 2015)
- Updated Chart: Table of Foreign Investor-State Cases and Claims under NAFTA and Other U.S. "Trade" Deals (April 30, 2015)
- U.S. Experience Shows Structural Incentives Favoring Corporations in Investor-State System Not Fixable via Changes to Trade Pact Terms (December 15, 2014)
- Failed Trade Policy and Immigration: Cause and Effect (February 21, 2013)
- Rebutting Misleading Industry Claims on Investor-State Case that Ignored CAFTA Annex (November 17, 2012)
- CAFTA Investor Rights Undermining Democracy and the Environment: Commerce Group Case (November 15, 2012)
- CAFTA Investor-State Ruling: Tribunal Ignores CAFTA Annex, Cites Another Tribunal to Rule against Guatemala (July 19, 2012)
- CAFTA Investor Rights Undermining Democracy and the Environment: Pacific Rim Mining Case (May 26, 2010)
- CAFTA Liaisons: Skip the Roses and Chocolates: Members of Congress Providing Decisive Votes on Trade Deal Receive Jump in Corporate Campaign Cash - Public Plans Divorce (February 2006)
- CAFTA Ruling Continues Corporate Attack on Environmental Protection (June 2, 2012)
- Commerce Group CAFTA Ruling Highlights Threat of Foreign Investor Rules Also Included in Korea FTA: Even as Mining Firm's Frivolous Challenge of Environmental Policy Is Dismissed on Technicality, El Salvador Must Pay $800,000 (March 15, 2011)