Costa Rica rules out immediate ratification of FTA with US
SAN JOSE, March 16 (Xinhuanet) — Costa Rica on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of an immediate ratification of the free trade agreement (FTA) between Central America and the United States.
Foreign Trade Minister Manuel Gonzalez Saenz told the press that Costa Rica will not ratify the FTA right now due to pressure from special groups.
Entrepreneurs and economic sectors of Costa Rica called for the immediate ratification, while social sectors opposed the FTA and threatened to protest if the agreement was presented to the parliament.
The minister said if the United States ratifies the treaty, Costa Rica will undoubtedly feel pressure, but by now no pressure has been exerted by Washington.
The opposition party Movimiento Libertario proposed to leave the FTA to a referendum.
Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala signed the FTA with the United States in May 2004.
El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala have ratified the agreement,and in Nicaragua, the text has been sent to the legislature, whileCosta Rica’s executive branch still holds on to the document.