TRADE GROUPS APPEAL TO BUSH FOR FREE TRADE AGREEMENT IN CENTRAL AMERICA
Negotiations on a free trade agreement with Central America should start as soon as possible, according to four trade associations who appealed to President Bush in a letter.
The American Apparel & Footwear Association, the International Mass Retail Association, the National Retail Federation, and the United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel urged Bush to use his upcoming visit to El Salvador to announce definitive plans to negotiate a free trade agreement in the Central American region.
“The countries of Central America are among our closest neighbors –geographically, politically and economically. A free trade agreement with these countries makes sense,” the four groups wrote.
Bush, in a January speech, said the Administration would explore negotiations on free trade agreements with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The associations also urged the administration to include the Dominican Republic in such negotiations.
“Given the strong economic and security linkages between the United States and these six Caribbean and Central American countries, a free trade agreement is the obvious next step,” said Kevin Burke, AAFA president and chief operating officer.