International Trade Law Research Guide

This guide features resources on international trade law.

Dominican Repulic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR)

CAFTA-DR is the first regional free trade agreement established between the United States and a group of less developed nations.  The agreement eliminated most tariffs and many non-tariff barriers to trade between the U.S., five of the seven nations in Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua), and the Dominican Republic, an island nation in the Caribbean. 

CAFTA-DR was negotiated as a congressional-executive agreement under the president's "fast track" trade promotion authority, established by the Trade Act of 2002.  It encountered significant opposition in Congress.  The House of Representatives enacted legislation to implement the agreement by a narrow majority of 217 to 215.  The U.S. Senate enacted the implementing legislation by a wider margin of 55 to 45.

Full Text of CAFTA-DR

Selected Secondary Sources for Analysis and Commentary About CAFTA-DR

  • Challenges of CAFTA:  Maximizing the Benefits for Central America, Call No.HF1782 .J37 2006 Electronic
  • Core Labour Standards and International Trade:  Lessons from the Regional Context, Call No. K3943 .A933 2015
  • Costa Rica Five Years After CAFTA-DR:  Assessing Early Results, Call No. HC143 330.87286 2015 Electronic
  • U.S. and EU Labor External Governance:  Workers' Rights Promotion in Trade Agreements and in Practice, Call No. K1705 .O45 2017

Electronic Resources for Analysis and Commentary About CAFTA-DR

  • Policy File Index
    PolicyFile is a subscription database that provides access to public policy research and working papers published by more than 350 think tanks, NGOs, research institutes, and advocacy organizations. Coverage is from 1990-present.
  • Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO)
    This is another subscription database that allows you to search broadly for public policy research and working papers produced by multiple think tanks, NGOs, and research institutes.  Coverage is from 1991-present. 
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture -- CAFTA-DR Gateway Page
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agriculture Service maintains this gateway page, from which you can access trade data, news, and other information about CAFTA-DR.  The Foreign Agriculture Service also maintains this page, which summarizes the impact of CAFTA-DR on U.S. agricultural producers and exporters.