· Clothing containing certain substances and materials that are “rare” in the United States and Central America is also eligible for duty-free treatment. An expanded list of these “rare” materials has been developed in consultation with industry in the United States and Central America. American yarns and fabrics are processed into Central American garments that arrive in Mexico and Canada. Like most other trade agreements, CAFTA-DR eliminates tariffs and freight processing fees for trade. All tariffs on U.S. consumer and industry exports were removed starting in 2015, while tariffs on agricultural exports will be eliminated by 2020. Everything will be duty-free when the agreement is fully implemented on 1 January 2025. In order to benefit from duty-free treatment under CAFTA-DR, products must comply with the applicable rules of origin. Costa Rica held a referendum to allow its citizens to choose to approve the D.R.-CAFTA. On 7 October 2007, Costa Ricans voted in favour of the agreement. On 30 September 2008, the CAFTA-DR countries agreed to extend until 1 January 2009 the deadline for the implementation of the Agreement for Costa Rica, in accordance with Article 22.5.2.
On 14 November 2008, Costa Rica approved the final draft law on the implementation of CAFTA-DR. The Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) entered into force for Costa Rica on 1 January 2009. In May 2004, the Salvadoran American National Network, the largest national association of Central American community organizations in the United States, opposed CAFTA, which they claimed was not ideologically motivated: “As immigrants, we have a deep understanding of the potential benefits of better transnational cooperation. We would like to see an agreement that increases economic opportunities, protects our common environment, guarantees workers` rights and recognises the role of human mobility in deepening the already deep relations between our countries. However, the NAFTA AGREEMENT is far short of this vision. »  · This is the first time that the cooperation agreement was concluded at the time of the free trade agreement – the Chilean and Singaporean cooperation packages were negotiated after the conclusion of these free trade agreements. The parties will now work on the development of a work plan for cooperation actions. NAFTA entered into force for El Salvador on March 1, 2006, honduras and Nicaragua on April 1, 2006, and Guatemala on July 1, 2006. The agreement for the Dominican Republic entered into force on 1 March 2007. CAFTA-DR also improves customs management and removes technical barriers to trade.
It deals with public procurement, investment, telecommunications, e-commerce, intellectual property rights, transparency, labour and environmental protection. The U.S. Senate approved the U.S. CAFTA by a vote of 54 to 45 on June 30, 2005. California senators were divided on the issue, Senator Dianne Feinstein voted yes and Senator Barbara Boxer voted against the deal. The main provision of CAFTA-DR provided for the immediate abolition of some tariffs and others over periods of up to 15 to 20 years. Tariffs on more than half of U.S. agricultural exports were eliminated as soon as the agreement entered into force.
The top U.S. exports sent to CAFTA-DR countries were petroleum products, machinery, grain, plastics, and medical devices. Major U.S. imports included coffee, sugar, fruits and vegetables, cigars, and petroleum products. Other provisions of CAFTA-DR should allow the United States to have better access to Central American markets in banking, telecommunications, media, insurance and other services, as well as to purchases by the Central American and Dominican governments. . . .