Adjustments to CAFTA-DR

The Dominican Republic, Central America and the U.S. agreed to make adjustments in agriculture, sanitary standards, textiles and disputes.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

During the meeting held in El Salvador, government representatives began the meeting by reviewing developments in trade and investment. During the period 2005 (the year immediately preceding the entry into force of CAFTA) and 2010, exports of Central America and Dominican directed to the U.S. grew 31%, from U.S. $ 18,803 million in 2005 to U.S. $ 24,590 million in 2010. In the same period, imports of goods to the region grew by 44%, from U.S. $ 16,827 million to U.S. $ 24,217 million, highlighting the purchase of fuels, electrical machinery, machinery, plastics, cereals, textiles and cotton, among others.

Trade Minister Anabel Gonzalez pointed out that the growth has been significant under the agreement and said "5 years after entry into force of CAFTA results are clear: more trade, more investment, more opportunities for citizens of participating countries. CAFTA is meeting its objectives."

During the meeting the Commission reviewed progress in implementing the treaty, in particular:

- Updated the rules of origin to meet the established regulations by the World Customs Organization. This change will facilitate the implementation of trade rules.

- In terms of textiles, updated provisions of the Treaty to the new productive reality of the CAFTA members. These changes expand opportunities under the Treaty and strengthen the supply chains of the textile industry in the region, increasing its competitiveness.

- Expedites the mechanism for settlement disputes in the Treaty. This will ensure the enforcement of rights and obligations negotiated.

Finally, one of the most significant outcomes of this ministerial meeting was the launch of the Trade Facilitation Initiative, a project sponsored by Costa Rica with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank, which aims to boost trade in the region by developing concrete projects in the areas of customs facilitation, logistics and supply chains, and technical standards and sanitary measures. As part of the meeting, the Bank filed an "Inventory of Trade Facilitation Projects", currently being implemented in Central America and Dominican Republic. Based on this information, during the second stage of the initiative, countries will define specific projects to be implemented in the areas of interest. The ministers will review the progress and expect specific results of this initiative during the second session of the Commission.

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