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FAQ / What is the CAFTA-DR Agreement and how does it benefit U.S. exporters?

Note: More information can be found on the Free Trade Agreements section of the Export.govgovernment portal website:

The CAFTA-DR is a trade agreement between the United States and the countries of Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. This Agreement is currently in force for the United States, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

The CAFTA-DR requires important reforms of the domestic legal and business environment that encourage competitive business development and investment, protect intellectual property rights, and promote transparency and rule-of-law in the democratic systems that have solidified in the region over the past decade. The Agreement is an important instrument to support U.S. national security interests; the FTA promotes closer economic cooperation among the Central American countries, thereby advancing regional integration and contributing to greater peace and stability in the region.

Among other benefits from the elimination of non-tariff barriers, the FTA allows the U.S. supplier to be more price-competitive in the Central American and Dominican market simply due to duty reduction and elimination. A U.S. exporter whose goods qualify under the Agreement may afford its buyer considerable savings. U.S. exporters will also be more competitive in Central America and the Dominican Republic against competing third country products that do not have the duty benefits.



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