Wednesday, June 06, 2007

CAFTA's referendum postponed to October 7

(La Nacion) - The Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) has decided to postpone the national referendum, that will decide the future of the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), from September 23, 2007 to October 7, 2007.

DR-CAFTA’s current member countries include the U.S., Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Costa Rica is the only participating country that signed the agreement but has yet to ratify it. Costa Ricans will have the opportunity to vote "yes" or "no" on whether they think Costa Rica should ratify the accord.

If passed, the agreement would create a free trade zone like that of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that encompasses the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Tariffs on some 80% of U.S. exports to DR-CAFTA countries would be eliminated (most of the participating countries' exports already enter the U.S. tariff-free).

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