A Glimpse at DR-CAFTA

Article excerpt

The Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) is a heavily debated topic, but some CRM industry pundits contend that it could have little effect on outsourcing. The agreement's objective is to create a free trade zone between the United States and Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and (most recently) the Dominican Republic. DR-CAFTA resembles the also controversial North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which includes Canada, Mexico, and the U.S., and is seen as essential to the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), which would include all Central American, South American, and Caribbean countries, except Cuba.

Some of the arguments for the strongly opposed agreement, which the Senate approved last month, are that it will open markets, as DR-CAFTA countries are major export markets for U.S. manufacturers, and modernize the Central American economy. However, "there are benefits that are not necessarily economic like the promotion of a more democratic and a more stable society," says Renato Beninatto, a principal and COO of Common Sense Advisory, a research and consulting firm specializing in international business. …