Perhaps overlooked in the holiday rush, the winter storms and media slumber was the U.S. recognition of Costa Rica’s official entry into Central American Free Trade Agreement, also known as CAFTA-DR (the DR being Dominican Republic). The completion of CAFTA represents an important reaffirmation of trade’s economic value and importance in supporting Latin America’s democracies. We hope the Obama Administration recognizes the opportunities that should be embraced.
Reuters, “Bush clears way for Costa Rica to join CAFTA“:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President George W. Bush cleared the way on Tuesday for Costa Rica to formally join a regional free trade agreement between the United States, the Dominican Republic and four other Central American countries.
Bush issued a proclamation that brings the pact into force between the United States and Costa Rica on January 1.
“This step marks an important milestone in our relationship with Costa Rica, building on our strong economic and political partnership,” U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said.
- Presidential proclamation, “To Implement the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement with Respect to Costa Rica and for Other Purposes.“
- U.S. Trade Representative, “Statement of U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab Regarding Entry into Force of the CAFTA-DR for Costa Rica.“
- The USTR’s website with the text and background of CAFTA-DR is here.
Usually this sort of Christmas week release is designed by the releasing party, in this case the White House, to bury the news. That seems less likely this time, as various delays and process steps ran up against a December 31, 2008, deadline for action. (See this article from Inside Costa Rica for the timeline.)
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