Dominican Republic-Central America- United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA DR): Developments in Trade and Investment [April 23, 2012] [open pdf - 568KB]
"On August 5, 2004, the United States entered into the Dominican Republic-Central America- United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic (hereafter the CAFTA-DR countries). Congress engaged in a full year of debate before narrowly passing the implementing bill. On July 28, 2005, after assurances from Bush Administration officials on many issues, the House approved it by a two-vote margin (217 to 215), followed by passage in the Senate (55-45), clearing the measure for presidential signature on August 2, 2005 (P.L. 109-53). Implementing the agreement proved equally challenging and occurred on a rolling basis after each country made legal, regulatory, and rule changes to comply with the accord's obligations. CAFTA-DR entered into force with El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala by July 1, 2006, the Dominican Republic on March 1, 2007, and Costa Rica on January 1, 2009. This report follows up on congressional interest by providing an analysis of the trends in trade and investment since CAFTA-DR entered into force six years ago. Changes in rules governing issues such as intellectual property rights, government procurement, services, labor and others are not easily measured and will require a longer-time frame to evaluate. The report concentrates on trends in all countries, with close attention paid to the CAFTA-DR partner economies. The marginal effects on the U.S. economy are expected to be small by comparison because the CAFTA-DR countries are economically about the size of the Denver metropolitan area, and they already had duty-free access to the U.S. market under various unilateral preference programs."
CRS Report for Congress, R42468