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Days before the Central America Free Trade Agreement was to go into effect, news reports indicate that several of the CAFTA countries’ parliaments – where the reality of having to make far-reaching, retrograde changes to public health and other domestic laws required by the commercial agreement – are reluctant to actually implement the deal. In Costa Rica’s case, the Congress is simply unwilling to ratify the controversial agreement.
In reaction, the Bush administration has decided to delay the planned Jan. 1, 2006, implementation until it can push through the anti-public interest changes to each Central American country’s domestic laws.
“After sitting on the signed agreement for over a year because they knew they didn’t have the support in the U.S. Congress for NAFTA expansion, the Bush administration was able to pass the deal by a one-vote margin only after cutting shady deals that cost U.S. taxpayers billions,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “Now the administration has come face to face with the reality that the agreement that it promised would bolster economic performance and democracy in Central America is in fact seriously unpopular because it forces the nations to implement an anti-development model that has proven to cause serious economic and social trauma.”