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Ag could be included in a Honduran trade review with the U.S.

Ag could be included in a Honduran trade review with the U.S.

The current trade agreement limits the country’s sovereignty, President Xiomara Castro said

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A member of a trade pact with the United States wants to review the agreement and include agriculture in the process.

The current Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), which includes the U.S. and Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, creates barriers, Honduran President Xiomara Casto said.

The deal, which member countries started signing in 2004, “seriously limits (Honduras’s) freedom to reach sovereignty” in agriculture, Castro said in a speech Sunday recapping her first 100 days in office, reported.

U.S. producers have benefitted from the agreement.

In 2010, U.S. ag exports to the CAFTA-DR countries totaled $3.4 billion, up from $1.9 billion in 2005.

In 2019, Honduras imported $743 million of U.S. ag products.

But because of the increased U.S. ag exports to the region, local producers have struggled to market locally produced goods.

This is an issue USTR Katherine Tai acknowledged during the 51st Annual Washington Conference on the Americas in May 2021.

“Significant shortcomings in our trade infrastructure and policy implementation have prevented the agreements from generating the greatest benefit for the region,” she said, adding her team would work to help people in the region.

Honduras is the second market to explore a trade review with the U.S.

In March, Panama requested a review of the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement, specifically the tariff rate quotas for some products to help benefit local producers.

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