Nicaraguan parliament postpones approval of FTA
5 May 2005
MANAGUA, May 4 (Xinhua) — Nicaragua’s National Assembly has delayed the approval of the free trade agreement (FTA) between Central America and the United States, on grounds that its population will not benefit from the deal, an official said on Wednesday.
Legislators from the Sandinista Front of National Liberation (FSLN) and the Liberal Constitutionalist Party (PLC) oppose the FTA,saying it will benefit neither workers nor small producers, according to Nicaraguan chief negotiator Carlos Sequeira.
Many small producers’ businesses would go bust because of the FTA, which also violates the rights of workers, representatives ofthe FSLN say.
The official said the criticism is of a political nature and Nicaragua may turn out to be the only country to cause difficulties for the ratification of the FTA.
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica signed the FTA with the United States last May in Washington. The Dominican Republic later joined it in August.
The Salvadoran congress became the first parliament to ratify the accord in December, and Guatemala and Honduras followed suit. The agreement will come into effect when the legislatures of all the signatory countries give it the green light.