Navigate Up
Sign In
Skip navigation links
About Us
Business Industry Services
Doing Business
Small Business Development
Skip navigation links
Events and Learning Opportunities
Export / Import
Foreign Trade Missions
International Trade Policies
Key Partners
Office of Economic and Small Business Development Homepage
Broward County Policy On Dominican Republic Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA)


The Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) is an agreement that eliminates trade barriers on virtually all trade between the U.S. and the nations of Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The agreement was set to take effect January 1, 2006 but has not due to continued negotiations on import quotas and intellectual property protections. No signatory to the agreement is currently operating under it. With the FTAA currently stalled, DR-CAFTA is seen as a positive step toward the goal of a Western Hemisphere FTAA.


As is the case with the FTAA, and for many of the same reasons, DR-CAFTA faces strong political opposition. Labor and environmental groups point to fewer than predicted improvements in labor and environmental conditions in Mexico under NAFTA as an indication of what will happen under DR-CAFTA. The parties continue to face challenges in resolving issues related to regulation of pharmaceuticals and protection of intellectual property under the agreement. Political instability in signatory countries like Nicaragua will also present challenges to the full implementation of the agreement.


South Florida and Broward County currently enjoy a substantial cultural and economic link to the countries currently signed to the agreement, and with the elimination of virtually all remaining barriers to free trade, DR-CAFTA is expected to produce additional investment in Broward County as more companies seek to leverage this area’s proximity and proven leadership as the gateway to the region. Florida’s exports to the region are expected to increase by over half a billion dollars in the first year of the agreement alone.


Given the overall advantages to Broward County presented by the passage of DR-CAFTA, the Broward County supports DR-CAFTA.

Top of Page

Stay Connected! eNews