Dominican Today | December 6 2006
Slim chance for Dominicans to enter DR-CAFTA in January
Santo Domingo.— There is little probability that the Dominican Republic will enter the Free Trade Agreement with Central America and the United States next January, as scheduled, because at least seven legislative pieces are still pending approval.
In the few days left before year’s end, the country will not be in a position to meet set deadlines for the trade accord implementation.
According to the agreement, the deadline for approving these bills should have been December 1st.
Pending relevant legislation pertains to government purchases and contracts, investment and commercial bribes, protection of new vegetable species, customs services rates, UPOV international regulations for protecting vegetables, in addition to an initiative on microorganisms.
Following their approval, these bills must be translated into English, a process that requires some five days.
Next, approved bills must be reviewed by the U.S. Trade Office no later than by December 8th, to be ultimately approved no later than Friday, December 29th, 2006, in order to implement the treaty by Monday, January 1st, 2007.
The aforementioned timeline has been the reasoning behind the perception of those who seriously doubt that the country will enter the FTA in January.