Voting for Free Trade

December 24, 2004

FIRST in line: Norman Quijano, Rolando Alvarenga and Milena deEscalón, legislators from the Nationalist Republican Alliance(ARENA), cast three of the 49 votes that on Dec. 17 made ElSalvador the first country to ratify the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA). FiveSalvadoran legislators abstained from voting and 30 voted againstthe treaty. If the U.S. Congress ratifies the pact, CAFTA will immediatelytake effect between the United States and El Salvador.CAFTA was signed by representatives of the United States,Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica inMay (TT, May 28) and re-signed in August to include theDominican Republic (TT, Aug. 6).

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