The Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) entered into force for the United States, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua in 2006, for the Dominican Republic in 2007, and for Costa Rica in 2009. As a result of the FTA, 100 percent of U.S. consumer and industrial goods exports to the CAFTA-DR countries will no longer be subject to tariffs by 2015. Tariffs on nearly all U.S. agricultural products will be phased out by 2020. To be eligible for tariff-free treatment under the FTA, products must meet the relevant rules of origin.
Under the Agreement, the Parties are significantly liberalizing trade in goods and services. CAFTA-DR also includes important disciplines relating to: customs administration and trade facilitation; technical barriers to trade; government procurement; investment; telecommunications; electronic commerce; intellectual property rights; transparency; and labor and environmental protection. CAFTA-DR creates new commercial opportunities for the United States while promoting regional stability, economic integration, and economic development for an important group of U.S. neighbors.
The CAFTA-DR region was the 14th largest U.S. export market in the world in 2013, and the third largest in Latin America behind Mexico and Brazil. The United States exported $29.5 billion in goods to the five Central American countries and the Dominican Republic in 2013, over 74 percent higher than the level in 2005, the year before the Agreement first entered into force.
Key U.S. exports that have experience significant growth to the CAFTA-DR countries since the implementation of the agreement include: petroleum products, machinery, electrical/electronic products, textile fabrics, cotton yarns, cereals (wheat, corn, rice), plastics, motor vehicles, paper products, and medical instruments.