The U.S. announced last week that the implementation of CAFTA would not meet its Jan. 1 target date because Central American countries have yet to legislate new laws to come into compliance with the agreement’s mandates.
The U.S. is now shooting for Feb. 1 or March 1 as new target dates.
The delay has enlivened efforts to undo the deal by groups who fear the pact could have a crippling effect on workers, small farmers and the economies of the nations involved.
"The problems associated with implementing CAFTA demonstrate what we’ve been saying all along: this agreement goes beyond trade in requiring dramatic changes in domestic laws that grant new rights to transnational corporations at the expense of working people," the Quixote Center’s Tom Ricker said.
Democratic opponents to the agreement criticized the Bush administration for forcing the countries to change their laws on issues such as intellectual property protection while not requiring nations to enforce stricter labor standards.