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Statement of USTR Susan C. Schwab Regarding Entry Into Force of the CAFTA-DR for Guatemala

"I am pleased the President has issued a proclamation to implement the
CAFTA-DR agreement for Guatemala as of July 1, 2006.


"We have worked closely and intensively with all six CAFTA-DR countries to
ensure they meet the obligations and responsibilities under the agreement. Our
constructive engagement has had positive results and we’re pleased that
Guatemala is now ready to join El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua in full
implementation of this agreement. I greatly appreciate the sincere and diligent
effort by Guatemala to adopt the necessary regulatory and legislative framework
under CAFTA-DR.


"We will continue our work with the remaining two CAFTA-DR partners to ensure
timely and full implementation of the agreement."


Background


The United States, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua signed the CAFTA-DR in August 2004. All but
Costa Rica have ratified the Agreement.


Implementing legislation for the CAFTA-DR passed the U.S. Senate in June 2005
and the House of Representatives in July 2005 and was signed by the President in
August 2005.


The CAFTA-DR entered into force for El Salvador on March 1, 2006, and for
Honduras and Nicaragua on April 1, 2006.


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