Alexa

Implementation delayed for CAFTA in Costa Rica

Implementation delayed for CAFTA in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has until October 1 to implement the Central American Free Trade Agreement with the U.S., the president announced Wednesday.
The seven-month delay gives lawmakers extra time to adopt laws and regulations that were originally required by February 29 under the accord.
Costa Rican President Oscar Arias made the announcement at a news conference in San Jose, Costa Rica's capital. He said the agreement was signed Wednesday in Washington by representatives of the accord's seven member nations.
Opponents of the accord have blocked approval of the required laws in Costa Rica's Congress, sometimes questioning whether they are constitutional.
In Washington, U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab said she hoped Costa Rica can implement the necessary changes before October 1.
"We will continue to work closely with the Costa Rican government to complete the appropriate implementing measures," she said in a statement.
Arias also urged lawmakers to quickly approve the eight remaining initiatives needed to implement the accord.
"I hope it only takes us three months and not all seven to get what we need," he said.
One of the most controversial initiatives would require more competition within the telecommunications and insurance industries.
So far, only two initiatives have been approved. They deal with judicial reforms and local companies that represent foreign brands in Costa Rica.