Timetable For CAFTA-DR Extended For Costa Rica

The five countries comprising the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement
(CAFTA-DR) have agreed to provide more time for Costa Rica to complete legislative and regulatory
steps required to join the pact. The people of Costa Rica approved CAFTA-DR participation last
October, but the Costa Rican government has not completed all of the steps necessary for full
membership in CAFTA-DR. They now have until October of this year to compete the necessary work. In
announcing the time extension, US Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab said the Bush administration
is committed to ensuring that trading partners take the necessary steps to meet their obligations
and said she will continue to work closely with the Costa Rican government to complete the
implementing measures. Countries already participating in the Central American agreement include
the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

March 4, 2008