Comparative Guide Chile - U.S. FTA and DR - CAFTA - Introduction

A Comparative Guide to the Chile-United States Free Trade Agreement and the
Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement



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This document was prepared by the three institutions of the Tripartite Committee (the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean – ECLAC -, the Trade Unit of the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States – OAS -, and the Inter-American Development Bank - IDB) with the purpose of making a publicly available tool for comparing the legal texts of two recent North-South trade agreements in the Americas, namely, the Free Trade Agreement between Chile and the United States (hereinafter the “Chile-U.S. FTA”), and the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (hereinafter “DR-CAFTA”).

The document consists of two main parts: a comparative study of the provisions in the Agreements and a comparative –side-by-side- matrix of the legal texts of the Agreements. Both parts are electronically linked so that the user may read the comparison and go back and forth to the relevant provisions in the matrices by clicking on the heading of the comparative text.

The base texts used in the preparation of this document were the English versions of the two Agreements available on the website of the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). The reader should be aware that the version of DR-CAFTA used in this document is the version made publicly available after signature by the Trade Ministers of the Dominican Republic, the five Central American countries and the United States on August 5, 2004.

The reader should bear in mind that a number of side-letters and understandings were signed by the governments on the occasion of the signing of the Agreements. Those instruments refer to matters closely related to several provisions of the Agreements but are not an integral part of the legal texts. Therefore, they have not been included in this study. Those who wish to learn more of the issues under the Agreements should read those side-letters and understandings.

This is not an analysis of the two trade Agreements per se. Rather, it seeks to function as a tool to facilitate that type of comparative analysis by academics, negotiators, trade officials, students, etc. With this document, the Tripartite Committee launches a series of comparative documents which will eventually include other trade agreements signed within the Americas and between countries in the Americas and their extra-hemispheric partners.

The Chile-U.S. FTA is the reference text in this document and both the comparative study and the matrices follow the same order of the chapters in that Agreement. The comparative study is available in CD-ROM in both English and Spanish. The matrices, however, are only available in English.

Robert Devlin

José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs

Inés Bustillo

Deputy Manager
Integration and Regional Programs Department

Office of Trade, Growth and Competitiveness

Washington Office


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