Costa Rica: Dominican Republic will respect pact “in a nice way or not”

Dominican Today | Oct 12 2010

Costa Rica: Dominican Republic will respect pact “in a nice way or not”

JPEG - 29.6 kb
Bone of contention...polypropylene sacks

San José.- Costa Rica Foreign trade minister Anabel González affirmed Monday that Central America will force compliance of the trade treaties they have signed jointly “in a nice way or not,” in reference to a lawsuit the region will file against the Dominican Republic in the WTO. “If Dominican Republic wants to approach Central America more and more it’s going to have to also learn that here the treaties are adhered to in a nice way or not.”

Last week the Central American countries decided to file the complaint against Dominican Republic before the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the next few days, on tariffs charged on several products of the region, measure the plaintiffs say violates their Free Trade Agreement (DR-Cafta) in effect.

“This gladdens us because it reflects a very clear spirit in Central America that in this region of the world we negotiate treaties so they are adhere to and that’s a conviction that all of the Central American countries have,” González said in a press conference.

A Dominican Government regulatory commission on unfair trade practices charged tariffs as high as 40% on dozens of products from Central America.

According to González the Central American countries tried to find a technical and political solution to the problem via dialogue and due diligence for “several months,” without positive results. “Regrettably we have had to take this step (the lawsuit).”

She called Dominican Republic’s measure “arbitrary”, “out of place” and “unfounded."

In the Costa Rica’s case the affected products are tubular weaves and polypropylene sacks, on which the Dominican authorities levied a 38% tariff, applicable for an 18 month period counted from October 18, 2010. Costa Rica claims preferential, tariff-free access of those products to the Dominican market, as stipulated in the DR-Cafta, which includes the United States.

source: Dominican Today