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Statement from Ambassador John Veroneau, Deputy US Trade Representative

October 01, 2007




"We respect the right of the people of Costa Rica to
decide what is in their best interests.  Obviously, the United States
reached this trade agreement out of a strong belief that it serves the interests
of both countries.  There has been considerable speculation over how CBI
benefits could be affected by the outcome of the referendum.  Some have
suggested with certainty that these benefits would not be extended in the face
of a rejection of CAFTA.  Others have suggested with equal certainty that
these benefits would be extended. The truth is that no one can say for sure what
the impact would be since Congress has never been asked to extend preferential
benefits to a country that has rejected a bilateral trade agreement. 
Hopefully, the referendum will be decided on the merits of the agreement