CAFTA Gains Two Small Victories
Two votes this week brought Costa Rica closer to entering a free-trade agreement with the United States.
Lawmakers scheduled extra sessions to discuss bills required to implement the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA).
The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV) also handed a victory to the treaty’s supporters by finding only minor problems with the most controversial CAFTA bill.
That bill opens the telecommunications sector to competition, taking away a state monopoly from the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE).
The Sala IV found nothing wrong with the bill’s substance, or the unprecedented fast-track method used to pass it Feb 13.
Still, justices identified two procedural glitches, forcing lawmakers to redo the vote after further debate.
In another victory for CAFTA, the Citizen Action Party (PAC), which opposes the treaty and has filibustered the bills, compromised this week on a schedule for debate. For the next two weeks, lawmakers will discuss CAFTA bills during three mornings and three afternoons.
During a fourth morning, they will debate consensus bills to help shantytown dwellers and small producers and promote public concession projects.
Lawmakers have passed five of the 12 CAFTA bills, which must take effect by Oct. 1.
You may be interested
US again advises citizens to ‘avoid all travel to Costa Rica’ due to COVIDAlejandro Zúñiga - April 23, 2021
The latest travel notices published by the State Department in the United States advises citizens to "avoid all travel to…
Central America warns of an active hurricane seasonThe Tico Times - April 23, 2021
A Central American forecasting organization is predicting that 17 tropical storms that may affect the region will form in 2021…
US VP Harris to discuss migration surge with Guatemalan presidentAFP - April 23, 2021
Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Central America in June and hold virtual talks next week with Guatemalan President Alejandro…