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Economic Development of Central America Econ. 4200 - Spring 2004 – Dr. Taylor - page 9 / 153

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CAFTA is an extension of the same policies put forward in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The implementation of CAFTA is seen key by the Bush administration and multinational corporations in obtaining the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), which would cover all the countries in the Western Hemisphere, except Cuba.

CAFTA is closely linked to the Plan Puebla Panama (PPP), a 10-year long, multi billion dollar mega development project that will construct physical and industrial infrastructure throughout the region.

Civil society groups in Mexico and Central America see the PPP as paving the way for CAFTA and FTAA. These groups have protested the PPP because of the devastating impact that it is seen having on the environment, indigenous communities, and local economies.

Final negotiations concluded in December (2003) and the U.S. Congress will vote on whether to approve CAFTA early this year.

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