“We are telling the State Government that the Costa Rica of CAFTA (Central America’s FTA with the US) is no longer the same”This is how President Rodrigo Chaves summarized the momentum maintained by his Administration for the eventual incorporation of Costa Rica into the North American Free Trade Agreement (T-MEC).Then his meeting with President Joe Biden, this Tuesday. The president cited as examples the investment of chips, and others with which Costa Rica tries to reach this new commercial area.
In addition, regarding the support that some US congressmen have given to the possibility of Costa Rica joining the T-MEC, he considered that the separation of powers is understood but the momentum could be used. “There are calls from some parts of Congress to relaunch, solidify, US relations with Latin America.” pointed.
The United States is Costa Rica’s main trading partner
In December 2022, the Costa Rican government filed a formal petition to become a partner in the North American trade agreement, known as T-MEC, in which the United States, Mexico and Canada participate.The request was made by President Chaves to Chris Dodd, White House presidential advisor for Latin American issues, during a visit he made to San José.
A new format
In 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) entered into force.Subsequently, in 2018, the agreement was renegotiated and modernized in terms of labor and rules of origin, as well as other terms on services and exports. Since then it has been known as T-MEC in Spanish and USMCA in English.Under this new format, it came into force in 2020 and its application will be for 16 years, during which it will be subject to review.
Other topics on the table
The appointment this Tuesday included topics such as security, migration and economic issues.”Not only did we agree on some very specific points, but we agreed on a work process from now on, which has not existed for years,” president Chavez explained.
And the closure of the Darién?
Regarding the migratory wave that continues to move across the continent with a goal of reaching North America, Chaves stressed that attention would be sought between various countries while the places from which people flee improve.
“We have to understand the reality of things. There are sending countries, receiving countries and countries that are vehicles, transit countries. If we don’t work together, the whole system is going to be messed up.” argued.
In turn, he indicated that the preferable idea is to really define how many migrants could be assisted and how many resources would be available.In addition, given the possibility of a closure of the passage through the Darién Jungle, he explained that the solution that Costa Rica sees is rather the organization of the flows.“Is that a solution? I don’t know. Is that sustainable over time? I don’t know,” he closed.
A date with Biden
The visit to Washington was announced last week and spans two days.It began this Tuesday with a conference on democracy; then he went on to sign agreements on health and migration issues at the Embassy of Costa Rica.From there he continued the visit to the Oval Office in the White House.The meeting took place between both presidents and then several ministers joined.Also on the agenda is a dinner with the private sector and the OAS. Wednesday agenda included cybersecurity and an investment announcement.