Prensa Latina, Cuba
Dominican President to Visit US for FTA
By Pedro Rioseco
6 May 2005
Santo Domingo, May 6 (Prensa Latina) Dominican President Leonel Fernandez will visit the US next Monday to attend a meeting convened by President George W Bush to examine free trade agreements (FTA) together with several Central American counterparts.
The information released by a presidential spokesman follows stepped-up protests of producers and people’s sectors to prevent parliaments of the countries that signed FTA from ratifying them.
Wednesday, the Senate decided to turn down the accord before the Fernandez administration resorted to measures to benefit domestic producers’ competitiveness.
On the same day, US Congress Democrats Ellen Tauscher, Adam Smith, Arthur Davis and Rom Kina informed Bush of their condemnation of free trade agreements with Central America and the Dominican Republic because they will affect the workers’ rights there.
In New York, the Dominican leader is slated to meet with representatives of his country’s community, entrepreneurs and congressmen to promote FTA.
Presidential press chief Rafael Nuñez stated Fernandez’ visit to the North American nation was part of a strategy agreed with Central American statesmen to visit US cities.
Dominican businesspeople, producers and organizations have condemned such treaties with Washington, and called for governmental protectionist measures on certain agricultural products.
The US has already signed the accord with Central America and the Dominican Republic; however, it can only become effective following parliamentary approval.