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Costa Rica Pulls Out Of Cafta Negotiations

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

18 December 2003


The Cafta (Central America Free Trade Agreement) talks currently taking place in the United States were dealt a set-back on Tuesday when the Costa Rican delegation walked out of the talks objecting to proposals to liberalize the country’s telecommunications sector.

Whilst the negotiations are continuing amongst the four remaining Central American nations (El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua) it is possible that the talks will fail to meet their year-end deadline.

The United States had proposed that Costa Rica’s monopolistic telecommunications sector be broken up so that American firms could enter the country’s market. The US also wanted Costa Rica to dissolve regulations allowing local dealers a monopoly on distribution networks.

Whilst an initial agreement could be reached with just four nations, Albert Trejos, Costa Rica's trade minister downplayed the gravity of his country’s decision. "I don't think it's that dramatic a thing. We're very much part of the process," he said.


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