Welcome to the CAFTA-DR Gateway
This site brings together information and resources the U.S.
Department of Commerce and other U.S. Government Agencies offer
to U.S. businesses interested in new opportunities which will
be offered by the markets of Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador,
Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua) and the Dominican Republic,
particularly in light of the newly negotiated (but not yet implemented)
Free Trade Agreement with these countries.
The Central American - Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement
(CAFTA-DR) is currently not in effect. The U.S. Congress approved
the CAFTA-DR in July 2005 and the President signed it into law
on August 2, 2005. The CAFTA-DR has been approved by the legislatures
in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and
Nicaragua. Approval is pending in Costa Rica. The agreement shall
enter into force on a date to be agreed upon among the parties.
Once implemented, however, U.S. manufacturers, workers, farmers
and ranchers will benefit from its market opening provisions.
The CAFTA-DR is a state-of-the-art free trade agreement.
It not only will reduce barriers to U.S. trade, but also require
important reforms of the domestic legal and business environment
that are key to encouraging business development and investment.
It will promote economic growth in the Central American countries
of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua,
as well as in the Dominican Republic, and thereby will expand
U.S. opportunities in important regional markets.
The Agreement will provide new opportunities for U.S. workers
and manufacturers. More than 80 percent of U.S. exports of
consumer and industrial goods will become duty-free in Central
America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and
Nicaragua) immediately, with remaining tariffs phased out
over 10 years. Key U.S. export sectors will benefit, such
as information technology products, agricultural and construction
equipment, paper products, chemicals, and medical and scientific
Links to web sites outside the U.S. Federal Government or the
use of trade, firm, or corporation names within the International
Trade Administration web sites are for the convenience of the
user. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or
approval by the U.S. Commerce Department of any private sector
website, product, or service.