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CENTRAL AMERICAN REGIONAL BUSINESS COUNCIL SEEKS PARITY FROM TRADE PACT; GROUP CITES 'RISK OF POLITICAL DESTABILIZATION'

 SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The Central American and Caribbean Textile and Apparel Council said today it has retained the law firm of Greenberg Traurig to help insure that its 24-member nations achieve parity in the event of passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
 "While the intent of NAFTA is not to harm the politically stable and democratic nations comprising our membership, that's exactly the effect passage of NAFTA will have unless the United States moves to provide parity to the region," said Francisco Escobar, president of the Central American and Caribbean Textile and Apparel Council.
 Escobar said the Council will rely on Greenberg Traurig's Florida and Washington offices to convey the importance of passage of HR 1403, the Caribbean Basin Free Trade Agreements Act. This legislation would grant the same tariffs and quotas to products from Central America and the Caribbean that will apply to similar imports from Mexico under the NAFTA.
 "This is a highly important issue," noted Howard Vine, managing shareholder of Greenberg Traurig's Washington office.
 "Unless parity and reciprocity is achieved, we run the very real risk of social and political destabilization of an area critically important to the United States," he said.
 Vine also added that thousands of U.S. workers depend on the textile and apparel business from Central America and the Caribbean for their livelihood.
 "We're optimistic that Congress will come to understand the importance and urgency of this issue," he said.
 Greenberg Traurig has approximately 175 attorneys in offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Tallahassee, New York and Washington, D.C. In terms of bilingual Hispanic lawyers, the firm is one of the largest in the country.
 -0- 6/17/93
 /CONTACT: Bruce S. Rubin of Bruce Rubin Associates, 305-448-7450, for Greenberg Traurig/


CO: Greenberg Traurig; The Central American and Caribbean Textile and
 Apparel Council ST: Florida IN: SU:


AW-JB -- FL006 -- 3069 06/17/93 12:05 EDT
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Date:Jun 17, 1993
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