CAFTA Preamble

PREAMBLE

The Government of the Republic of Costa Rica, the Government of the Dominican
Republic, the Government of the Republic of El Salvador, the Government of the Republic of
Guatemala, the Government of the Republic of Honduras, the Government of the Republic of
Nicaragua, and the Government of the United States of America, resolved to:

STRENGTHEN the special bonds of friendship and cooperation among their nations
and promote regional economic integration;  
 
CONTRIBUTE to the harmonious development and expansion of world trade and
provide a catalyst to broader international cooperation;
 
CREATE an expanded and secure market for the goods and services produced in their
territories while recognizing the differences in their levels of development and the size of
their economies;
 
AVOID distortions to their reciprocal trade;
 
ESTABLISH clear and mutually advantageous rules governing their trade;
 
ENSURE a predictable commercial framework for business planning and investment;
 
BUILD on their respective rights and obligations under the Marrakesh Agreement
Establishing the World Trade Organization
and other multilateral and bilateral
instruments of cooperation;
 
SEEK to facilitate regional trade by promoting efficient and transparent customs
procedures that reduce costs and ensure predictability for their importers and exporters;  
 
ENHANCE the competitiveness of their firms in global markets;
 
FOSTER creativity and innovation, and promote trade in goods and services that are the
subject of intellectual property rights;
 
PROMOTE transparency and eliminate bribery and corruption in international trade and
investment;
 
CREATE new opportunities for economic and social development in the region;  
 
PROTECT, enhance, and enforce basic workers’ rights and strengthen their cooperation
on labor matters;
 
CREATE new employment opportunities and improve working conditions and living
standards in their respective territories;
 
BUILD on their respective international commitments on labor matters;
 
IMPLEMENT this Agreement in a manner consistent with environmental protection and
conservation, promote sustainable development, and strengthen their cooperation on
environmental matters;
 
PROTECT and preserve the environment and enhance the means for doing so, including
through the conservation of natural resources in their respective territories;  
 
PRESERVE their flexibility to safeguard the public welfare;  
 
RECOGNIZE the interest of the Central American Parties in strengthening and
deepening their regional economic integration; and  
 
CONTRIBUTE to hemispheric integration and provide an impetus toward establishing
the Free Trade Area of the Americas;  
 
HAVE AGREED as follows: