From the Document: "The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, which it shares with Haiti. The Dominican Republic is a key U.S. partner in the Caribbean due to its comparatively large size, strong economy, and relative stability. The United States and the Dominican Republic have maintained close commercial ties under the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) and have cooperated on regional security concerns under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI). [...] Internal divisions within the PLD [Dominican Liberation Party] led to the party's defeat in July 2020 elections, which were postponed from May due to the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Opposition candidate Luis Abinader, a businessperson standing for the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), won the presidency with 53% of the vote, precluding the need for a runoff. The PRM also won a majority in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. The PLD now is the primary opposition party. Abinader remains popular (67% approved of his mandate in an October 2021 poll). His government has managed the health and economic effects of the pandemic, prioritized transparency and anti-corruption, and developed a climate resilience plan focused on boosting renewable energy use. [...] Bilateral trade and labor disputes have arisen. The U.S. Department of Labor continues to monitor how the Dominican government is working to reduce the use of forced and child labor. The Dominican Republic earned a Tier 2 ranking in the State Department's '2021 Trafficking in Persons' report, an improvement from its 2020 rank."
CRS In Focus, IF10407
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/