Office of the United States Trade Representative


Statement from Ambassador John Veroneau, Deputy US Trade Representative



"We respect the right of the people of Costa Rica to decide what is in their best interests.  Obviously, the United States reached this trade agreement out of a strong belief that it serves the interests of both countries.  There has been considerable speculation over how CBI benefits could be affected by the outcome of the referendum.  Some have suggested with certainty that these benefits would not be extended in the face of a rejection of CAFTA.  Others have suggested with equal certainty that these benefits would be extended. The truth is that no one can say for sure what the impact would be since Congress has never been asked to extend preferential benefits to a country that has rejected a bilateral trade agreement.  Hopefully, the referendum will be decided on the merits of the agreement itself."  

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