3rd CAFTA Bill Approved

January 18, 2008
Costa Rica moved another step closer to entering a free-trade agreement with the United States.
Lawmakers this week approved the third of 11 bills required to put the country in compliance with the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA), approved by referendum in October.
The controversial law, a rallying point for the treaty’s opponents, would give developers of new plant varieties the exclusive right to market them for up to 25 years. Lawmakers applied a fast-track process to the bill.
The Citizen Action Party (PAC), which opposes CAFTA, plans to challenge the bill before the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV), in a process that could take up to a month. For the bill to become law, the assembly must approve it a second time, and President Oscar Arias must sign it.
The bill’s final passage would block efforts by three environmental groups to hold a referendum on the proposal. The Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) gave a green light last month to the environmentalists to begin collecting signatures for a referendum.
Monday’s vote is a triumph for President Oscar Arias’ administration, which has been pushing CAFTA for months. Still, several lawmakers said they doubt that all 11 CAFTA bills can be passed by a Feb. 29 deadline.
 

You may be interested

Billionaire Piñera to return as Chile’s president
Chile
296 views
Chile
296 views

Billionaire Piñera to return as Chile’s president

Paulina Abramovich / AFP - December 18, 2017

Electoral authorities said the 68-year-old conservative, who previously led the South American nation from 2010-2014, won 54 percent of the vote, nearly eight points above his leftist rival Alejandro Guillier.

Download our High Season Print Edition here
The Tico Times
1052 views
The Tico Times
1052 views

Download our High Season Print Edition here

The Tico Times - December 17, 2017

Thanks to all the readers from around Costa Rica and the world who have written to ask how they can…

PHOTOS: Costa Rica’s Festival of Light
Holidays
3148 views
Holidays
3148 views

PHOTOS: Costa Rica’s Festival of Light

AFP - December 17, 2017

Costa Rica's traditional Festival de la Luz, a holiday parade through the heart of San José, filled the capital with…