U.S. negotiators have reached a free trade agreement with Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras. Costa Rica pulled out of the talks at the last minute, unhappy with U.S. demands. The agreement, known as the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), will be submitted to Congress for approval next spring. CAFTA has been opposed by U.S. sugar farmers and the U.S. textile industry who believe competition from lower-priced Central American competitors will drive them out of business.
See Associated Press, USA Today, December 16, 2003