US Sees Tariff Elimination Opportunities in CAFTA-DR

The United States highlighted that the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) offers opportunities as the agreed opening progresses.

On August 5, 2004, the United States signed CAFTA-DR with five Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua) and the Dominican Republic.

The Agreement has been in force since January 1, 2009 for the seven countries that signed CAFTA-DR.

It entered into force for the United States, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua in 2006, for the Dominican Republic on March 1, 2007, and for Costa Rica on January 1, 2009.

As part of its content, the Agreement eliminates tariffs, opens markets, reduces barriers to services and promotes transparency throughout the region.

From the point of view of the Trade Representation (USTR), the export and investment opportunities of the United States with Central America and the Dominican Republic have continued to grow under this Agreement.


All Parties have committed to strengthening trade facilitation, regional supply chains and the implementation of the Agreement.

In particular, consumer and industrial goods from the United States can enter duty-free in all other markets of the DR-CAFTA member countries.

Almost all US textile and apparel products that meet the Agreement’s rules of origin enter the region’s markets free of tariffs and quotas.

Under CAFTA-DR, one-third of US agricultural exports to the region are currently subject to tariff quotas.

However, these TRQs will increase annually until 2025, after which the TRQs will be eliminated and affected products will enter other CAFTA-DR countries duty-free.

The DR-CAFTA Free Trade Commission (FTC) is the central oversight body for the Agreement.

The CAFTA-DR Coordinators, who are technical level personnel of the Parties, maintain permanent communication to follow up on the agreements reached by the FTC, advance on technical and administrative implementation issues under the Agreement, and define the agenda for the meetings of the the FTC.