December 17, 2003


U.S., Central American Nations Reach Trade Deal (Martin Crutsinger, December 17, 2003, AP)

Negotiators reached agreement in all areas, including textiles and agriculture, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick announced at a news conference with the trade ministers of Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras.

"Negotiations began last January, and today we have fulfilled that vision with a cutting-edge, modern free-trade agreement to tear down the tariff walls that block trade between the United States and Central America, between friends and neighbors," Zoellick said.

A fifth nation, Costa Rica, abruptly left the talks on Tuesday complaining about excessive demands being made by the United States for the nation to open up its market to foreign competition in telecommunications and insurance.

However, U.S. officials expressed hope that the differences with Costa Rica can be resolved in coming weeks so that it will be included when the administration submits the Central American Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA, to Congress early next year. [...]

The deal, which will phase out virtually all trade barriers among the participating countries over the next decade, represents the sixth free trade deal the United States has achieved.

The North American Free Trade Agreement covers Canada and Mexico and the United States has individual free trade agreements with Israel, Jordan, Chile and Singapore.

Two-thirds of the Earth is covered with water, by the end of '08 the rest may be covered by George W. Bush's individualized free trade agreements. Poland, Spain, Britain, Australia, the Philippines, Iraq, Morocco, Afghanistan, Eritrea, etc.--the key nations in the fight against Islamicism--should be next.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 17, 2003 1:05 PM

They're trade deals. They are not free trade deals.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at December 17, 2003 4:28 PM

And with all this, he is blessed with opponents who are terminally idiotic.

As he said in his 1st Inaugural Address, "Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm?"

Posted by: ray at December 17, 2003 10:42 PM