CAFTA Multilateralism and the Tuna Industry

Sardimar and Calvo Group are involved in a dispute over tariffs generated by the implementation of the multilateral treaty imposed by the US-Central America Treaty.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Spanish-owned Calvo Group has a tuna processing plant in El Salvador from which it exports to Costa Rica - among other places - having paid the country a customs duty of 15% until January 2009, and afterwards taking advantage of CAFTA benefits by not paying the tariff for tuna in oil and paying 2.2% for tuna in water. This will obviously hurt the local sales of Costa Rican-owned Sardimar, which is protesting, stating that the situation violates the provisions of the General Treaty of Central American Integration since Calvo Group operates in a free trade zone in El Salvador and is exempt from most national and municipal taxes and Sardimar considers this a subsidy in disguise.

The article in Elfinancierocr.com authored by Kattia Bermúdez Mora, said that "Minister Marco Vinicio Ruiz confirmed that now importers or exporters can choose which commercial treaties it will trade under in the region, according to the tariff that best suits it. Covered by this provision of the Comex, Calvo Group chose to import under CAFTA and stopped paying the 15% tariff on imports, beginning in January of this year."

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More on this topic

Brazilian Ethanol to US via Costa Rica

June 2009

Costa Rica will import raw alcohol from Brazil to dehydrate it and re-export it to the US with zero-tariff, in accordance with DR-CAFTA rules.

The Brazilian president's visit to Costa Rica formalized at the government level what was already in the works between businesses in both countries.

Tuna Dispute Over Between Sardimar and Calvo

November 2010

Costa Rica's government closed the case after ensuring that Calvo did not incur in dumping affecting the country's tuna industry.

El Salvador and Costa Rica ended the trade dispute which went on for more than a year for canned tuna exports from El Salvador to the Costa Rican market, announced Finance Minister Hector Dada Hirezi, who was accompanied during the press conference by company representatives from the CALVO Tuna Group.

Costa Rican companies and CAFTA

January 2009

Costa Rica exporters still have a lot of work to do in order to benefit from the FTA, despite the fact that since January 1st their products can enter the US with zero tariff.

A study on the exploitation of the CAFTA-DR that was published in the El Financiero weekly from Costa Rica points out that "six years after waiting for CAFTA, the tuna, textiles and ethanol sectors, which will benefit immediately from the agreement, will see the results little by little.

Nicaragua and DR-CAFTA

April 2011

Nicaragua is one of the countries which has benefited the most from the Free Trade Agreement.

Robert Callahan, U.S. Ambassador in Nicaragua, added that the Central American country currently has a positive trade balance of $1.078 with the U.S.

Additionally, exports to the North American country have increased 71% in the past five years, from $1.170 million in 2005 to $2.012 million in 2010.

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