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Statement of USTR Susan C. Schwab Regarding Entry Into Force of the CAFTA-DR for Guatemala

"I am pleased the President has issued a proclamation to implement the CAFTA-DR agreement for Guatemala as of July 1, 2006.

"We have worked closely and intensively with all six CAFTA-DR countries to ensure they meet the obligations and responsibilities under the agreement. Our constructive engagement has had positive results and we’re pleased that Guatemala is now ready to join El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua in full implementation of this agreement. I greatly appreciate the sincere and diligent effort by Guatemala to adopt the necessary regulatory and legislative framework under CAFTA-DR.

"We will continue our work with the remaining two CAFTA-DR partners to ensure timely and full implementation of the agreement."

Background

The United States, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua signed the CAFTA-DR in August 2004. All but Costa Rica have ratified the Agreement.

Implementing legislation for the CAFTA-DR passed the U.S. Senate in June 2005 and the House of Representatives in July 2005 and was signed by the President in August 2005.

The CAFTA-DR entered into force for El Salvador on March 1, 2006, and for Honduras and Nicaragua on April 1, 2006.

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