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Central American-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement

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 equipment.


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.

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