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Statement of USTR Portman Regarding Entry Into Force of the U.S. - Central America - Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) for Honduras and Nicaragua

"I am pleased that the President issued a proclamation to implement the CAFTA-DR agreement for Honduras and for Nicaragua on April 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 Honduras and Nicaragua are now ready to join El Salvador as countries that have fully implemented the agreement. I greatly appreciate the sincere and diligent effort by our partners to adopt the necessary regulatory and legislative framework under CAFTA-DR, and I look forward to seeing the benefits of CAFTA realized by all participants.

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


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.

El Salvador was the first country to enter into force on March 1, 2006. With the entry into force with Honduras and Nicaragua, the U.S. now has the CAFTA-DR agreement implemented with three countries.