DR1 - The huge US$3. 19 billion trade deficit with the US through DR-CAFTA has apparently deterred Dominican business from supporting similar agreements with Canada, Mexico and Haiti, according to Diario Libre. This opinion is also echoed in the Tuesday, 1 May edition of Hoy newspaper. Diario Libre quotes the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Manuel Garcia Arevalo, as saying that 78% of the deficit is from products that are not made in the Dominican Republic: oil, machinery, vehicles, cereals and plastic parts. Despite the fact that these imports did not have a negative effect on Dominican production, the business community does not seem anxious to conclude similar free trade agreements with Mexico, Canada or Haiti. In 2011, only Costa Rica and Nicaragua had positive trade balances with the United States under the CAFTA agreement. Ligia Bonetti, the president of the Industrial Association of the Dominican Republic (AIRD) told reporters that she does not understand why people with ties to the government are trying to continue signing these sorts of agreements without any changes in the internal conditions. These conditions make Dominican industrial output uncompetitive on international markets. Read original at DR1.
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