Free trade negotiations suspended between Canada and Central America
4 July 2004
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) - Free trade agreement talks scheduled for this week between Central America and Canada have been suspended, a Honduran business leader said Sunday.
No date was set to restart the talks, according to Benjamin Bogran, executive director of Honduras’ Private Business Council. The negotiations were suspended because changes covering textiles and sugar were left off the negotiating table, he said.
"Canada’s position is inflexible," Bogran told a news conference. "That’s why Central America cannot do much about this."
Canadian trade officials could not immediately be reached on Sunday.
The 10th round of trade negotiation between Central America and Canada was held in February in Ottawa. In July 2003, negotiations were suspended so that Central America could concentrate on crafting a free trade agreement with the United States.
The United States has signed a free trade agreement with the Central American nations of Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Guatemala - and the Caribbean nation of the Dominican Republic plans to participate. But the U.S. Congress has yet to approve the agreement, which faces opposition.