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Central American Free Trade Agreement, Trade of Goods and Services, Trade Barriers


Quoting the Eighteenth Century philosopher Charles de Secondat Montesquieu, “We are free because we live under civil laws.” In the summer of 2006 lawyers and businessmen in the Dominican Republic, the United States and most of Central America experienced full implementation of the Dominican Republic – Central America Free Trade Agreement (hereinafter CAFTA). This regional trade agreement, following on the general model of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the parameters of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), is intended to establish a comprehensive legal regime to reduce and eventually eliminate most national barriers to the trade of goods and services between the United States and the countries of Central America and the Dominican Republic.


This article is an edited version of Mr. Buhler’s article appearing in the IABA Law Review, Vol 5 (2007).