Dominican Republic Officially Joins CAFTA

By John S. McClenahen On Aug. 5, the Dominican Republic joined the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) that the U.S. signed earlier this year with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. When implemented, the agreement would immediately eliminate 80% of tariffs, with the remaining tariffs to be phased out over 10 years. However, implementation may be a way off. CAFTA is controversial on Capitol Hill, and the lawmakers may be in session for only a month once they return after Labor Day, making it even less likely the free-trade pact will get approval this year. Indeed, the Bush administration has yet to send the implementation legislation to Congress.

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