CAFTA Trade Mission

U.S. Commerce Secretary Carolos Gutierez will lead a business development mission to three Central American countries in October. His deputy secretary has been making hte rounds to promot the mission.

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The mission follows the recent passage of the Central American Free Trade Agreement, and will stop in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador between October 16th and 22nd. Deputy Commerce Secretary David Sampson has been touring to talk up this business development mission.

In each city, participants will meet with government officials and business representatives, Chambers of Commerce and industry, trade associations and potential business partners.

CAFTA created the second-largest export market in Latin America for U.S. goods, and the tenth largest market in the world.

More than 80 percent of U. S. exports of consumer and industrial goods are becoming duty-free in Central America. Sampson says Texas--and Houston--should benefit greatly.

Congress approved CAFTA in July and President Bush signed it into law on August 2nd.

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