Where can interested parties find information on the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA)? Several options are available:
The Web site of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) offers various documents on the pact, including the full text of the agreement in English and Spanish, information on the Environmental Commission, and statements from the USTR (www.ustr.gov/Trade_Agreements/Bilateral/CAFTA/Section_Index.html).
The site of Costa Rica’s Foreign Trade Ministry also features the text in Spanish, along with several documents that explain and promote the agreement, or explore facets such as the pact’s possible effects on medications or labor rights. The site also offers a version of the pact for the visually impaired. Visit www.comex.go.cr and scroll down.
COMEX also launched a new toll-free phone number that those with questions about the agreement can call and leave a message for ministry officials, who will presumably provide an answer (800-852-4636).
Visitors to www.forotlc.com can read and post messages on CAFTA, and also view the text of the report generated by the Council of Notables then-President Abel Pacheco convened in 2005 to study the agreement.
Of course, the pro- and anti-CAFTA campaigns have sites of their own. On the pro-CAFTA side, in addition to the government sites listed above, check out the Citizens’ Alliance for Yes on CAFTA’s “unofficial Web site” at alianzadelsi.blogspot.com for press releases and other documents.
On the anti-CAFTA side, www.noaltlc.org has videos, articles and messages on topics from how CAFTA would damage the environment to how it would infringe on Costa Rican sovereignty.
Political leader Ottón Solís, who founded the opposition Citizen Action Party (PAC) and has said CAFTA must be renegotiated to benefit Costa Rica, has his own blog: www.ottonsolis.blogspot.com.