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US pushing FTA on Guatemala

US Pushing FTA on Guatemala

Guatemala, Apr 19 2006 (Prensa Latina) US ambassador in Guatemala James Derham appeared in Congress Wednesday to pressure for approval of complementary laws to the Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Derham entered the building when the legislative board was seeking consensus among all parties to adopt the bill as a national emergency.

Washington demands changes in the telecommunications law so its companies can easily set up and take control of Guatemals’s telephone-information market.

Transformations in the penal code, copyright and royalties criminalize thousands of part-time workers living on the sale of clothing and pirated material.

Before the FTA comes into effect, the US government also demands reforms of fiscal laws, phytosanitary and environmental protection norms.

To date, Guatemala and Costa Rica are the only Central American countries out of the commercial deal, which will devastate small and medium companies.

Congressional leadership will try to approve this week all the US-imposed modifications, rejected by several deputies who want more time to analyze the case.

 source: Prensa Latina