U.S. Ambassador Robert Callahan said last week that renegotiating the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA) would be a “very difficult” process that would require U.S. congressional approval – something that would be tricky due to “very strong interests that are against free trade.”
Callahan’s comments came in response to a call by President Daniel Ortega to renegotiate CAFTA with the United States to take into account the “asymmetries” of the two economies and to eliminate the “protectionist policies” of the United States.
“These are free-trade treaties that demand to be revised,” Ortega said. “The Democratic candidate Barack Obama has talked about a revision, thinking of the North American workers and North American interests and also thinking of the interest of Latin American and Caribbean workers, because this type of treaty does damage to both of us.”
Callahan, however, said that CAFTA is law in the United States and is not up to the next president to change without a “complicated congressional process.”
“My advice would be to leave it as it is,” Callahan said.