Wednesday, February 14, 2007

63 percent of Ticos support CAFTA ratification

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Many adults in Costa Rica believe the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) should be implemented, according to a poll by CID-Gallup. 63 per cent of respondents who are familiar with CAFTA support its ratification.

In May 2004, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua agreed to the CAFTA with the United States. The Dominican Republic followed suit in August. The agreement—which would reduce or eliminate taxes and tariffs on imports—must be approved by each country’s legislative branch.

To date, Costa Rica remains the only country that has not ratified CAFTA. Former Costa Rican president Abel Pacheco postponed debate on the trade deal, hoping that the Legislative Assembly would approve a series of bills related to the country’s fiscal system.

Oscar Arias —a member of the National Liberation Party (PLN)— won the February 2006 presidential election with 40.92 per cent of all cast ballots. Arias headed the government from 1986 to 1990, and was able to run again after the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly opted to bring back presidential re-election in 2003. He was sworn in for the second time in May 2006.

On Feb. 7, Arias defended the CAFTA, saying, "I don’t think it’s the solution [to underdevelopment in the region], but I believe it’s an opportunity. It’s a step that has to be taken, but we won’t automatically become rich the day the agreement with the United States enters into force."

Polling Data

Are you familiar with the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)?
Yes
72%

No
28%

To those who are familiar - Do you support or oppose the ratification of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)?
Support
63%


Oppose
37%

Source: CID-Gallup
Methodology: Interviews with 1,213 Costa Rican adults, conducted from Jan. 20 to Jan. 28, 2007. Margin of error is 2.8 per cent.

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