Manufacturers Benefit As CAFTA Takes Effect With Guatemala

With the addition of Guatemala on July 1, the U.S.-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) is now fully implemented among five nations: The U.S., El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

The Dominican Republic has ratified but not implemented the agreement. Costa Rica has yet to ratify the pact.

Under terms of the agreement, 80% of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial goods to the Central American countries and the Dominican Republic are to become duty-free upon implementation. Remaining tariffs are to be phased out over 10 years.

CAFTA was approved by Congress in June and July of last year and signed into law by President Bush in August 2005.

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