OAS

 
Central America - Dominican Republic - United States
Text of the Agreement
  Background and Negotiations
   

On 24 September 2001, five Central American countries - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua -- met with the United States on the sidelines of the IX meeting of the FTAA Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) to discuss possibilities for deepening their bilateral trade and investment relations. On 27 November technical discussions towards this end were initiated under the framework of the Central America - U.S. "Trade Policy Dialogue." On 16 January 2002 the U.S. President announced the intent to explore the possibility of negotiations towards a free trade agreement with Central America. The U.S. Congress was formally notified of the intention to begin free trade negotiations on October 1, 2002.

The official launch of the negotiations was announced in Washington D.C. by the U.S. Trade Representative and Ministers from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua on January 8, 2003 and negotiations between the United States and four of the Central American countries concluded on December 17 2003. An agreement was reached between Costa Rica and the United States on 25 January 2004.

Draft texts of the Central America - U.S. Free Trade Agreement were made available to the public on 28 January 2004. On 20 February the Office of the U.S. President notified Congress of the intent to enter into a free trade agreement with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In March 2004 side letters, addressing issues related to agriculture, the environment, financial services, investment, services/investment, telecommunications and textiles, were released. The U.S.-Central America FTA was signed on 28 May 2004.

Documents relating to the negotiations and signing of the
Central America - U.S. FTA
28 May 2004 Central American countries and United States sign Free Trade Agreement PDF
28 May 2004 Webcast of the signing ceremony offsite link
28 May 2004 Address by OAS Assistant Secretary General at the CAFTA signing ceremonyPDF
20 February 2004 Notice of Intention to enter into a Free Trade Agreement with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua (the "CAFTA" countries) PDF
25 January 2004 United States and Costa Rica reach agreementPDF
17 December 2003 United States and Central American countries conclude free trade agreement PDF

Documents relating to the CAFTA negotiations
16 December 2003 Press release: Costa Rica to continue negotiating with the U.S. in January Spanish PDF
08-12 December 2003 San José, Costa Rica. IX negotiating round Spanish PDF
10-14 November 2003 Washington, D.C. Extraordinary negotiating session Spanish PDF
  Draft SPS and TBT chapter Spanish PDF
20-24 October 2003 Houston, USA. VIII negotiating round Spanish PDF
15-19 September 2003 Managua, Nicaragua. VII negotiating round Spanish PDF
28 July - 01 August 2003 New Orleans, USA. VI negotiating round Spanish PDF
16-20 June 2003 Tegucigalpa, Honduras. V negotiating round Spanish PDF
12-16 May 2003 Guatemala, Guatemala. IV negotiating round Spanish PDF
31 March - 04 April 2003 San Salvador, El Salvador. III negotiating round Spanish
24-28 February 2003 Cincinnati, USA. II negotiating round Spanish
27-31 January 2003 San José, Costa Rica. I negotiating round Spanish

Documents relating to the launch of the CAFTA negotiations
08 January 2003

United States and Central American nations launch FTA negotiationsPDF

08 January 2003 Calendar of negotiations Spanish PDF
08 January 2003 Structure of the negotiations Spanish PDF

Documents relating to the technical meetings
16 September 2002 Washington, D.C., USA. Fifth technical meeting Spanish PDF
10-11 July 2002 Washington, D.C., USA. Fifth technical meeting Spanish PDF
22-23 May 2002 Antigua, Guatemala. Fourth technical meeting Spanish PDF
18-19 April 2002 San José, Costa Rica. Third technical meeting Spanish PDF
25-26 February 2002 Washington, D.C., USA. Second technical meeting Spanish PDF
16 January 2002 Announcement of U.S. intent to explore a free trade agreement with the countries of Central AmericaPDF
27 November 2001 San Salvador, El Salvador: First technical meeting Spanish PDF
24 September 2001 High-level meeting between Central America and the United States

Source: Comex, Costa Rica; Office of the President of the United States; Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR)

Dominican Republic joins CAFTA negotiations

In November 2003, the United States announced that the Dominican Republic would be joining the negotiations. On 12 January 2004, the United States and the Dominican Republic initiated the first of three rounds of negotiations designed to integrate the Dominican Republic into the CAFTA. Negotiations concluded on 15 March 2004 and the draft texts of this agreement were released on 9 April.

Central American countries and the Dominican Republic, which have a previous Free Trade Agreement, signed in 1998, continued to negotiate on certain matters. The Central America - Dominican Republic - United States Free Trade Agreement (DR - CAFTA) was signed on August 5, 2004 in Washington, D.C. The draft texts of the agreement were released to the public the same day.

Draft texts
05 August 2004 Signing of the DR-CAFTAPDF
24 March 2004 U.S. President notifies intention of negotiating free trade agreement with the Dominican RepublicPDF
15 March 2004 United States and Dominican Republic conclude trade talks integrating the Dominican Republic into the CAFTAPDF
13 January 2004 U.S.-Dominican Republic FTA negotiations beginPDF
18 November 2003 USTR announces free trade talks will begin with the Dominican Republic PDF
04 August 2003 USTR letter to Senate notifying intent to negotiate free trade talks with the Dominican RepublicPDF
04 August 2003 USTR letter to House notifying intent to negotiate free trade talks with the Dominican RepublicPDF
Source: Office of the President of the United States; Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR)

  Technical Assistance
   

As part of the negotiations, National Action Plans for trade capacity building were developed for each of the Central American countries. These National Action Plans define needs and identify priorities for trade-related technical assistance. These documents were submitted to government agencies, international organizations and corporations and NGOs with instruments and facilities to address these needs. Documents were also prepared outlining sources of trade capacity building assistance.

Draft texts
May 2005 National Action Plan for the Dominican Republic PDF
July 2003 National Action Plan for El Salvador Word document
July 2003 National Action Plan for Honduras PDF
January 2003 Document on government assistance PDF
January 2003 Document on corporations and non-government organization assistance PDF
January 2003 Document on international organizations assistance PDF
December 2002 National Action Plan for Costa Rica PDF
December 2002 National Action Plan for Guatemala PDF
December 2002 National Action Plan for Nicaragua PDF
Source: Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR)

  Draft Texts
   
Draft texts
05 August 2004 Final text of the U.S.-DR-CAFTA
28 May 2004 Final CAFTA text
09 April 2004 Central American Free Trade Agreement and Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement - Draft Texts for the Dominican Republic
28 January 2004 Draft texts of the Central America - U.S. Free Trade Agreement
Source: Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR)

  Cooperation Agreements
   

On 18 February 2005  the seven CAFTA members signed two agreements aimed toward facilitating the implementation of environmental provisions within their free trade agreement. Chapter 17 (Environment) of the Dominican Republic - Central America - United States Free Trade Agreement (D.R. - CAFTA) establishes that "each Party shall ensure that its laws and policies provide for and encourage high levels of environmental protection, and shall strive to continue to improve those laws and policies."  The Agreement establishes an Environmental Affairs Council (ECA) to oversee the implementation and review the progress under this Chapter.  The chapter also establishes provisions for public participation, both in the ECA and through national efforts, including a public submissions process that allows members of the public to raise concerns if they believe that a Party is not effectively enforcing its environmental laws. The Understanding Regarding the Establishment of a Secretariat for Environmental Matters, aims to administer this public submissions mechanism.  The Understanding sets up a secretariat to review these submissions and develop a factual record in meritorious cases.  The Secretariat for Central American Organization (SIECA) is requested to create a new unit to serve as the CAFTA-DR Secretariat within the Environment Chapter.

The other document, the Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, aims to guide long-term environmental cooperation. The ECA provides a comprehensive framework for environmental cooperation among the countries. It includes first-time provisions for establishing benchmarks to identify short-, medium- and long- term goals for improving environmental protection and provides for independent monitoring of progress in meeting these benchmarks. It establishes an Environmental Cooperation Commission.

Documents relating to the Environmental Cooperation Agreement
06 October 2006 Secretariat on environmental issues initiates operations at SIECA headquarters Spanish PDF
18 February 2005 Signing of the Agreement on Environmental Cooperation and understanding for the establishment of an environmental secretariat within the framework of the DR-CAFTA Spanish PDF
Source: Ministerio de Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica (COMEX)

  Entry into Force

 

Article 22.5 of the Agreement states that

"(a) This Agreement shall enter into force on January 1, 2005, provided that the United States and one or more other signatories notify the Depositary in writing by that date that they have completed their applicable legal procedures.
(b) If this Agreement does not enter into force on January 1, 2005, this Agreement shall enter into force after the United States and one or more other signatories make such a notification, on such later date as they may agree."

The Depositary, as provided in Article 22.8, is the Organization of American States (OAS).

El Salvador was the first D.R.-CAFTA country to ratify the agreement, passing it through Congress on 17 December 2004. Honduras ratified the agreement on 3 March 2005 and Guatemala on 10 March 2005. The U.S. Congress approved the agreement in July and the President signed it into law on 2 August 2005. Nicaragua ratified the agreement on 10 October 2005. On 6 September 2005, the Chamber of deputies of the Dominican Republic approved the D.R.-CAFTA and sent the agreement to the president for signature. On 28 February 2006 the President of the United States issued Proclamation 7987 implementing the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement.

CAFTA entered into force for El Salvador on March 1, 2006, for Honduras and Nicaragua on April 1, 2006 and for Guatemala on July 1, 2006. On 01 March 2007 the agreement entered into force for the Dominican Republic.

Costa Rica held a referendum so that its citizens could choose whether to approve D.R.-CAFTA. On 7 October 2007, Costa Ricans voted in favor of the agreement. On 30 September 2008 the CAFTA-DR countries agreed to extend the deadline for Costa Rica to implement the agreement to 1 January 2009, pursuant to its Art. 22.5.2 . On 14 November 2008 Costa Rica approved final bill to implement CAFTA-DR. The Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) entered into force for Costa Rica on 1 January 2009.

Documents relating to the entry into force
23 December 2008 USTR statement regarding entry into force of CAFTA-DR for Costa Rica PDF
14 November 2008 Costa Rica approves final bill to implement CAFTA-DR SpanishPDF
30 September 2008 U.S.-CAFTA-D.R. countries agree on extension of time for Costa Rica to implement CAFTA-DR PDF
08 October 2007 Statement regarding the outcome of the CAFTA referendum PDF
01 March 2007 Statement regarding the entry into force of DR-CAFTA for the Dominican Republic PDF
30 June 2006 Statement regarding the entry into force of DR-CAFTA for Guatemala PDF
30 June 2006 Modifications to the Harmonized Schedule of the United States to Implement the Dominican Republic-Central American-United States Free Trade Agreement with respect to Guatemala (USITC Publication 3861)PDF
30 June 2006 Proclamation 8034 - To Implement the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement with Respect to GuatemalaPDF
01 April 2006 U.S.-DR-CAFTA enters into force for Nicaragua on 01 April 2006 Spanish PDF
01 April 2006 U.S.-DR-CAFTA enters into force for Honduras on 01 April 2006 Spanish PDF
31 March 2006 Proclamation 7996 - To Implement the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement with Respect to Honduras and Nicaragua PDF
24 March 2006 Proclamation 7991 - To Implement Certain Provisions of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement with Respect to El SalvadorPDF
March 2006 Modifications to the Harmonized Schedule of the United States to Implement the Dominican Republic-Central American-United States Free Trade Agreement with respect to Honduras and Nicaragua (USITC Publication 3845) PDF
10 March 2006 Amendment to the Dominican Republic-Cantral America-United States Free Trade Agreement PDF
February 2006 Modifications to the Harmonized Schedule of the United States to Implement the Dominican Republic-Central American-United States Free Trade Agreement with respect to El Salvador (USITC Publication 3829) PDF
February 2006 Proclamation 7987 - To Implement the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement PDF
11 October 2005 Nicaraguan Assembly approves CAFTA SpanishPDF
6 September 2005 Dominican Republic approves U.S. - Central America Free Trade Pact PDF
10 March 2005 Guatemala - Decreto Número 31-2005 Spanish PDF
25 January 2005 Ratification of FTA, El Salvador, Diario Oficial Spanish PDF

United States- Legislation related to the implementation of DR-CAFTA

28 February 2006 Proclamation 7987 to implement CAFTA-DRPDF
02 August 2005 DR-CAFTA Implementation Act (Public Law109-53) PDF
28 July 2005 Act to implement CAFTA-DR (H.R. 3045, 109th Congress)PDF
23 June 2005

Draft Senate bill to implement CAFTA-DR (S.1307, 109th Congress) PDF

Guatemala -Legislation related to the implementation of DR-CAFTA

26 May 2006 Decreto 11-2006. Reformas legales para la implementación del TLC República Dominicana-Centroamérica-Estados Unidos Spanish PDF

Honduras - Legislation related to the implementation of DR-CAFTA

24 March 2004 Decreto No 16-2006. Ley de Implementación del TLC República Dominicana- Centroamérica-Estados Unidos Spanish PDF

Nicaragua -Legislation related to the implementation of DR-CAFTA

24 March 2006 Ley 581. Ley Especial del Delito de Cohecho y Delitos contra el Comercio Internacional e Inversión Internacional SpanishPDF
  Ley 580. Ley de Reformas y Adiciones a la Ley N° 380, Ley de Marcas y Otros Signos DistintivosSpanish PDF
  Ley 579. Ley de Reformas y Adiciones a la Ley N° 354, Ley de Patentes de Invención, Modelo de Utilidad y Diseños Industriales Spanish PDF
  Ley 578. Ley de Reformas y Adiciones a la Ley N° 322, Ley de Protección de Señales Satelitales Portadoras de Programas SpanishPDF
  Ley 577. Ley de Reformas y Adiciones a la Ley N° 312, Ley de Derecho de Autor y Derechos Conexos Spanish PDF
21 marzo 2006 Decreto A.N. 4539. Aprobación de Adhesión al Tratado de Budapest sobre el Reconocimiento Internacional del Depósito de Microorganismos a los fines del Procedimiento en Materia de Patentes SpanishPDF
21 marzo 2006

Reglas Generales para la aplicación de CAFTA-DR en la aduana de Nicaragua SpanishPDF

Source:  Asamblea Nacional de Nicaragua; Congreso de la República de Guatemala; Ministerio de Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica (COMEX); Ministerio de Economía y Comercio de El Salvador; Ministerio de Fomento Industria y Comercio de Nicaragua; Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR); Secretaría de Estado Industria y Comercio de la República Dominicana; Secretaría de Integración Económica Centroamericana (SIECA); United States House of Representatives; United States Senate; U.S. State Department

  Implementation of the Agreement
   

Article 19.1 of the Agreement establishes a Free Trade Commission made up of cabinet-level representatives or their designees. The Commission is responsible for supervising the implementation and further elaboration of the Agreement; to seek to resolve disputes arising under the Agreement; to supervise the work of committees and working groups established under the Agreement and to consider any other matters that may affect the operation of the Agreement.

The first meeting of the CAFTA-DR Free Trade Commission was held in San Salvador, El Salvador, from 22-23 February 2011. The Second meeting was held in Miami, Florida, USA, on 23 January 2012.

Documents relating to the CAFTA-DR Free Trade Commission

23 January 2012 Joint Statement from the Second Meeting of the CAFTA-DR Free Trade Commission PDF
22-23 February 2011 Joint Statement from the First Meeting of the CAFTA-DR Free Trade Commission PDF
Source: Ministerio de Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica (COMEX)

The CAFTA-DR Agreement provides, in Chapter 17 (Environment), for the establishment of an Environmental Affairs Council (ECA) to oversee the implementation and review the progress under this Chapter.

Documents relating to the CAFTA-DR Environmental Affairs Council (ECA)

02 April 2014 New Orleans, United States. Eighth Meeting of the CAFTA-DR Environmental Affairs Council PDF
09 May 2013 Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Seventh Meeting of the CAFTA-DR Environmental Affairs Council PDF
12 April 2012 San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Sixth Meeting of the CAFTA-DR Environmental Affairs Council PDF
27 January 2011 Washington D.C. Fifth Meeting of the CAFTA-DR Environmental Affairs Council PDF
10 March 2009 San Jose, Costa Rica. Meeting of the CAFTA-DR Environmental Affairs Council PDF
24 July 2007 Guatemala City, Guatemala. Third Meeting of the CAFTA-DR Environmental Affairs Council PDF
24 May 2006 Guatemala City, Guatemala. First Meeting of the CAFTA-DR Environmental Affairs Council PDF
Source: Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR); U.S. State Department

Documents relating to the CAFTA-DR Dispute Settlement

18 November 2014 Costa Rica vs. El Salvador - Tariff Treatment of Goods Originating in Costa Rica Final Panel Report EspanolPDF New!
30 April 2013 The United States and Guatemala agreed on an enforcement plan to resolve concerns raised in a labor case brought by the United States under the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR)PDF
  bulletText of the Enforcement PlanPDF
Source: Ministerio de Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica (COMEX); Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR)
  Articles and Related Studies
   
June 2014 Ministerio de Economía, Guatemala. Evaluación de las relaciones comerciales entre Guatemala y los Estados Unidos de América EspanolPDF
November 2013 World Bank. Costa Rica five years after CAFTA-DR: a focus on selected areas PDF
September 2013 Ministerio de Economía, Guatemala. Evaluación de las relaciones comerciales entre Guatemala y la República Dominicana EspanolPDF
June 2013 Ministerio de Economía, Guatemala. Evaluación de las relaciones comerciales entre Guatemala y los Estados Unidos de América EspanolPDF
May 2011 Ministerio de Economía, Guatemala. Evaluación de las relaciones comerciales entre Guatemala y los Estados Unidos de América EspanolPDF
April 2005 COMEX, Costa Rica. La Dimensión Laboral en Centroamérica y la República Dominicana, construyendo sobre el progreso: Reforzando el cumplimiento y potenciando las capacidades.Espanol PDF
Marzo 2005 Office of the United States Trade Representative. Section by Section Summary of the Agreement. PDF
February 2005 Office of the United States Trade Representative. Short Summary of the CAFTA.PDF
October 2004 COMEX, Costa Rica. Documento Explicativo sobre el Tratado de Libre Comercio República Dominicana-Centroamérica-Estados Unidos: Preguntas Frecuentes Volumen No 7 Espanol PDF
September 2004 COMEX, Costa Rica. Costa Rica y el TLC: Preguntas frecuentes sobre el TLC.Espanol PDF
September 2004 MINEC, El Salvador. Documento Explicativo del TLC.Espanol PDF
August 2004 Office of the United States Trade Representative. US Potential Economywide and Selected Sectoral Effects.PDF
June 2004 MINEC, El Salvador. Perspectiva ante las negociaciones del TLC CA-USA.EspanolPDF
January 2004 COMEX, Costa Rica. El ABC del TLC.EspanolPDF
January 2004 MINEC, El Salvador. Documento Explicativo del TLC.EspanolPDF
2004 MINEC, El Salvador. Beneficios del TLC.EspanolPDF
2004 MINEC, El Salvador. Participación Cuidadana: Transparencia en las Negociaciones del TLC CA-USA.EspanolPDF
2004 MINEC, El Salvador. Las oportunidades del libre comercio y las PYMES.Espanol PDF
October 2003 COMEX, Costa Rica. Tratado de Libre Comercio República Dominicana-Centroamérica-Estados Unidos.Espanol PDF
July 2003 COMEX, Costa Rica. Información,consulta y participación con la sociedad civil costarricense en la negociación del TLC. EspanolPDF

  Sources
 

Spanish version 
Recent Developments
 

18 November 2014. Final Panel Report on Costa Rica vs. El Salvador - Tariff Treatment of Goods Originating in Costa Rica (Dispute Settlement) New!


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