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Dominican Republic has yet to fully access Dr-Cafta trade deal

Dominican Today, Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic has yet to fully access Dr-Cafta trade deal

6 July 2007

SANTO DOMINGO.- Dominican Republic still has some 10 commitments pending to fully access the Free Trade Agreement signed with the United States and Central America (DR-CAFTA), and for that reason confronts a situation defined as "serious" against its other competitors.

Industry and Commerce chief Trade negotiator Vilma Arbaje said yesterday the country must comply with pending issues as soon as possible, including individual commitments with the Central American countries.

Although the country formalized its entry in the DR-CAFTA in March, those diverse pending commitments would prevent the national productive sectors from benefiting.

Among Arbaje cited the rules of origin for textile merchandise and garments, the mutual recognition of sanitary registry for medicines and which currently has only with Honduras, and still pending with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Also, approval of the list of national and non-national referees of the DR-CAFTA, update of the people in charge of the treaty’s different committees, bilateral negotiation with Costa Rica for chicken breasts and milk, as the agreement stipulates, as well as the exchange of information on validation procedure in the agreement applied to Dominican Republic.

Arbaje, quoted by the newspaper El Dia, said the obstacles also include a “very sensible aspect,” of the Intellectual Property Committee’s report, and a mutual recognition of trade and commercial name registry, and the temporary entry of business people.

Another conflicting aspect, though already close to a solution by the Customs Agency, is the consular invoice and the exchange commission, for which Customs has requested adding the type of certificate of origin, now used in Central America.