The official start of the negotiations was announced by the U.S. Trade Representative and the ministers of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua on January 8, 2003 in Washington D.C. and negotiations between the United States and four of the Central American countries were concluded on December 17, 2003. On January 25, 2004, an agreement was reached between Costa Rica and the United States. CAFTA-DR FTA Text The full text of the agreement is provided by the United States Trade Representative (USTR). On 24 September 2001, five Central American countries – Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua – met with the United States on the sidelines of the 9th meeting of the ACA Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) to discuss ways to deepen bilateral trade and investment relations. On 27 November, technical discussions were launched to this end as part of the „trade dialogue“ between Central America and the United States. On January 16, 2002, the President of the United States announced his intention to explore the possibility of negotiating a free trade agreement with Central America. The U.S. Congress was formally informed of the intention to begin free trade negotiations on October 1, 2002.
CAFTA came into force on 1 March 2006 for Honduras and Nicaragua for El Salvador, on 1 April 2006 and Guatemala on 1 July 2006. The agreement for the Dominican Republic came into force on 1 March 2007. Costa Rica held a referendum so that its citizens could decide whether they wanted to allow D.R.-CAFTA. On October 7, 2007, Costa Ricans voted in favour of the agreement. On 30 September 2008, CAFTA-DR countries agreed to extend the implementation period for Costa Rica until 1 January 2009, in accordance with Article 22.5.2. On 14 November 2008, Costa Rica approved the final draft law on the implementation of CAFTA-DR. The Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) came into force on January 1, 2009 for Costa Rica. El Salvador was the first D.R.-CAFTA country to ratify the agreement and pass it through Congress on December 17, 2004. Honduras ratified the agreement on 3 March 2005 and Guatemala on 10 March 2005.
The U.S. Congress approved the agreement in July and the President signed it on August 2, 2005. Nicaragua ratified the agreement on 10 October 2005. On 6 September 2005, the Chamber of Deputies of the Dominican Republic approved the D.R.-CAFTA and sent the agreement to its President for signature. On February 28, 2006, the President of the United States issued Proclamation 7987 for the implementation of the Dominican Republic-Central America and United States Free Trade Agreement. The draft free trade agreement between Central America and the United States was made public on 28 January 2004. On February 20, the Office of the President of the United States announced to Congress its intention to conclude a free trade agreement with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Ancillary letters were published in March 2004 on issues related to agriculture, the environment, financial services, investment, services/investment, telecommunications and textiles. The free trade agreement between the United States and Central America was signed on May 28, 2004. The Dominican Republic Participates in CAFTA Negotiations In November 2003, the United States announced that the Dominican Republic would participate in the negotiations. On 12 January 2004, the United States and the Dominican Republic launched the first of three rounds of negotiations to integrate the Dominican Republic into CAFTA.
Negotiations ended on 15 March 2004 and draft texts of the agreement were published on 9 April. On 18 February 2005, the seven CAFTA members signed two agreements to facilitate the transposition of environmental provisions into their free trade agreement.