Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Regarding "CAFTA’s October Referendum: A Death Sentence for Costa Rican Trade & Foreign Investment?"

Letter received 08/14/2007

The article seems generally well balanced (particularly by COHA standards) in presenting both the risks of CAFTA non-ratification by Costa Rica. However, I'm curious as to how you came up with the conclusion that "Without CAFTA, goods exported by the country to the U.S. can look forward to being subject to 35 percent tariffs." There is certainly a good possiblilty that Costa Rica will lose CBERA benefits in 2008 (as well as those under CAFTA-DR) if Costa Rica doesn't approve the agreement. However, that would mean that Costa Rica would be subject to U.S. MFN tariffs which average 3-4 percent ad valorem, since Costa Rica is a WTO member. (Some textile and apparel and footwear U.S. tariffs are much higher, but my impression is that Costa Rica isn't really interested in exports in either of those areas.)

If I am missing something please let me know.

Best Regards,

David A. Gantz
Samuel M. Fegtly Professor of Law and
Director, International Trade & Business Law Program
University of Arizona, Rogers College of Law

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