Last August 2nd, in the East Room of the White House, president George W. Bush signed into law the Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-Cafta) between the United States, the Dominican Republic and five Caribbean nations: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. It was a tough fight won by an extremely small margin, 217 to 215, in the House of Representatives. "As Cafta helps create jobs and opportunities in the United States, it will help the democracies of Central America and the Dominican Republic deliver a better life for their citizens", said president Bush during the signing. The United States Chamber of Commerce also welcomed the agreement. "DR-Cafta was a top legislative priority of ours for good reason--it means increased opportunities for all Americans and a chance for the countries in Central America and the Dominican Republic to grow and prosper", said Thomas Donohue, Chamber president an CEO. "This vote recognizes the enormous potential that DR-Cafta represents and finally levels the playing field for U.S. workers." On the other hand, this trade could hurt Mexico's assembly-for-export industry since Central America has cheaper labor than Mexico. Enrique Castro, president of Mexico's Maquiladora Association, stated during a press conference: "Cafta would likely affect Mexico's textile industry the most." Although Cafta is expected to create a more predictable environment for U.S. clothing companies, the uncertainties created by the elimination of quotas in 2004 still exist. In addition to easing restrictions on the use of foreign materials in certain cases, some analysts say that Cafta will make U.S. clothing companies more competitive by outsourcing garments from Central America and the Dominican Republic.
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|Title Annotation:||Central American Free Trade Agreement|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Sep 1, 2005|
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