Honduras: Political and Economic Situation and U.S. Relations [Updated December 21, 2005] [open pdf - 63KB]
From the Summary: "Honduras faces enormous challenges in the areas of crime and human rights and improving overall economic and living conditions in one of the hemisphere's poorest countries. The United States has a close relationship with Honduras, characterized by significant foreign assistance, an important trade partnership, a military presence in the country, and cooperation on a range of transnational issues. Honduras signed the original U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) in May 2004 and an expanded U.S.-Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) in August 2004. The Honduran Congress approved the agreement on March 3, 2005, by a vote of 124-4, and the U.S. Congress ultimately approved implementing legislation for DR-CAFTA in July 2004 (P.L. [Public Law] 109-53). The Bush Administration views DR-CAFTA as a means of solidifying democracy in Honduras and promoting safeguards for environmental protection and labor rights in the country; critics fear that an agreement without strong environmental and labor provisions will do nothing to spur reforms in the country. For additional information, see CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report RL31870, 'The Dominican Republic.-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA)', by J.F. Hornbeck; and CRS Report RL32322, 'Central America and the Dominican Republic in the Context of the Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) with the United States', by K. Larry Storrs, coordinator."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21103