Illinois Farm Bureau | 18 November 2004
Dominican Republic Excluded from CAFTA
by Jerry Hagstrom, DTN Political Correspondent
WASHINGTON (DTN) — The Bush administration has decided to exclude the Dominican Republic from the Central American Free Trade Agreement because the Dominican Republic has adopted a tax on products containing high fructose corn syrup, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley said Wednesday.
Grassley said in a news release that U.S. Trade Representative Bob Zoellick had informed him by letter that he would send a version of the CAFTA agreement to governments of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador without including the Dominican Republic.
"Ambassador Zoellick is taking the right steps," Grassley said. "The fact is, as long as the Dominican Republic maintains its discriminatory tax on high fructose corn syrup, the U.S. Congress should not consider a trade agreement with that country."
The Dominican Republic imposed a 25 percent tax on beverages containing high fructose corn syrup in October.
"The Dominican Republic’s discriminatory tax will directly harm corn farmers and high fructose corn syrup producers in my state of Iowa," Grassley said.