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December 23, 2008 

Costa Rica Finally Eligible for CAFTA-DR Benefits on January 1, 2009

President Bush today issued a Proclamation providing that the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) will enter into force for Costa Rica on January 1, 2009. Costa Rican products meeting the rules of origin of the CAFTA-DR that are entered into the U.S., or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after January 1, 2009 will be eligible for preferential tariff treatment.

Costa Rica is the last country to implement the CAFTA-DR. CAFTA-DR entered into force for El Salvador on March 1, 2006, for Honduras and Nicaragua on April 1, 2006, for Guatemala on July 1, 2006, and for the Dominican Republic on March 1, 2007.

In October 2007, the voters of Costa Rica narrowly backed the free trade agreement in a national referendum.

No date has yet been set for implementation of the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement, which is expected to go into effect some time in 2009.

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