Dominican Today, 8 December 2005
Improbable implementation of Free Trade by January 2006
Santo Domingo.- It is still unclear whether the DR-Central America and US Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) will start in January 2006, and if it does, most of the Central American countries lag in preparation to enter commercial activity.
Surprisingly, the Dominican Republic is one of the six countries better positioned in its preparedness for the DR-CAFTA, only surpassed by El Salvador, according to Alberto Trejo, a major negotiator for Costa Rica, and should free trade begin in January, only the two countries might fully be on board.
Other countries such as Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras, in Trejo’s view, would more likely be ready in April. Trejo stated that Costa Rica would not be ready in January nor in April, and added that it would take his country most of 2006 to prepare.
In the case of the Dominican Republic, approval and implementation of a tax reform that compensate revenues, once the 13% exchange commision on imports and elimination of duty taxes.
Without elimination of the afore-mentioned taxes, entrance into the regional trade would be ojected by the other countries, especially by the United States.