Labor Rights Protections in CAFTA

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In January 2003, U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) negotiations began among the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The final negotiating round is scheduled for early December 2003. CAFTA presents an important opportunity to raise labor standards throughout Central America. Free trade alone, however, cannot guarantee greater respect for workers’ rights. Instead, meaningful protections for workers’ human rights should be built into CAFTA.