Dominican Today, 27 March 2006
Report considers DR hastily plunged into CAFTA trade accord
Santo Domingo.- Following three rounds, the agreement was “negotiated” and in three months - breaking a world-wide record, the Dominican Republic had signed the Free Trade Agreement with Central America and the United States.
Not one element countered the move, not even complaints from cattle, rice and sugar growers; nothing offset the accord.
The Dominican Republic adhered to the US-DR-CAFTA without undertaking a single technical study to analyze its impact, enabling the country to assume consistent decisions. Worst yet, the country “negotiated” under very adverse conditions, which — of course — determined results.
Central American countries had negotiated every issue, and the Dominican Republic simply adhered to all that had already been convened.
In only three months, after suffering important changes in the national commercial policy from one that was aggressive and that engaged in strategic alliances, to a passive mode with ample institutional deficiencies and with a negotiating team lacking experience and sound evaluations, and under strong pressures, the Dominican Republic requests entering the CAFTA.
To enter the agreement, negotiators offered the unimaginable: D.R. sends soldiers to Irak, cedes sovereignty, accepting everything stipulated by the Free Trade Region of the Americas (ALCA), and, to top it all, the country ratifies impunity for U.S. soldiers in The Hage international tribunal.
The Dominican economic elite, accustomed to relinquishing sovereignty to U.S. interests, has yet to consider effects of the commitment that the country has embraced.
The DR-CAFTA goes beyond a simple “trade accord”, it is an engagement that introduces important modifications in commercial regulations, which, at the same time, goes even further to modify the country’s institutional framework and significantly impacts the economy in general terms, as well as the social, political and environment sectors.