DR-CAFTA nearly impossible by January

In the opinion of US Ambassador Hans Hertell, the need to review hundreds of documents makes the likelihood of starting up the DR-CAFTA agreement “nearly impossible.” Yesterday, according to Hoy newspaper, four Democratic congressmen asked President George W. Bush to explain the delays in the implementation of the DR-CAFTA agreements. In spite of the delays, Hertell said that even if the FTA doesn’t go into effect in January, it would go into effect quite soon. Part of the delay is the need to study hundreds of documents, plus the fact that part of the United States Trade Delegation is currently in Hong Kong, taking part in the WTO conference. However, Hertell expressed his confidence that the DR had taken very positive steps towards the beginning of DR-CAFTA. One of the major roadblocks is that the Dominican Republic has yet to pass a procurement law, whereby tenders would be required to contract public works.