Guatemala forum decries FTA with US

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Prensa Latina | 9 October 2008

Guatemala Forum Decries FTA with US

Guatemala, Oct 9 (Prensa Latina) — The free trade agreement between Central American and the US has failed to accomplish all the supposed fairness and pledges advocated by its promoters, participants at the Social Forum of the Americas stated here this week.

A study made two years after the pact entered into force corroborates the Central American nations have not been benefited, rather damaged considerably, they pointed out.

"The commercial deficit of Central American and the Dominican Republic with the US has increased, that is, we buy more and sell less," Jorge Coronado, leader of the network monitoring the free trade agreement, told Prensa Latina.

Coronado indicated this negatively affects local producers, mainly small and medium farmers and businesspeople, whose markets run the risk of disappearing.

The pledged rise in foreign investment has not been not accomplished either, and the only positive case is in El Salvador, where banks of capital were acquired by US corporations, he noted.

In commercial terms, Central America means nothing for Europe, as it barely represents 0.34 percent of its imports, thus demonstrating the clearly geopolitical goals of the initiative.

"The only thing European transnationals care about is to compete in the Central American market under equal terms with their US counterparts for their own benefit," the expert complained.