chapter  15
CAFTA-DR: diverging trajectories and uneven development
WithMary Finley-Brook
Pages 15

The Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) with the USA emerged following decades of interaction and unequal exchange. CAFTA-DR entered into force in 2006 and over the past decade net trade balances worsened in all states parties except the USA. Although historically prominent, subsistence agriculture is increasingly vulnerable in Central America and the Dominican Republic. Tax reductions in special manufacturing, technology and tourism zones reduce economic benefits and reinforce long-standing public service inadequacies. Policy transfer and other initiatives to improve economic diversification, labour rights or environmental protection are limited. Regional integration objectives target securitization, infrastructure and natural resource management.