El Salvador was the first country to formally introduce cafta to enter into force on March 1, 2006, when the Organization of American States (OAS) received signed copies of the treaty. On 1 April 2006, Honduras and Nicaragua fully implemented the agreement. On 18 May 2006, the Congress of Guatemala ratified CAFTA-DR, which entered into force on 1 July 2006. The Dominican Republic implemented the agreement on 1 March 2007. In a referendum held on 7 October 2007, Costa Rica narrowly supported the free trade agreement, with 51.6% voting “yes”; the agreement entered into force on 1 January 2009.  Free trade negotiations between the United States and the five Central American countries began in 2002. The Dominican Republic participated in the 2003 discussions. CAFTA-DR was signed by all countries on 5 August 2004. The agreement was approved by the U.S. Congress in July 2005 and by the President on August 2, 2005. George W. Bush signed. Until 2007, all signatories, with the exception of Costa Rica, had announced the agreement.
Costa Rica`s approval lagged behind due to strong opposition from a large number of civil society organizations and trade unions. Costa Rican voters approved the agreement in a national referendum in 2007; it entered into force in January 2009. In general, CAFTA-DR divided Central Americans into two camps: peasant, labor, and indigenous groups firmly rejected them, while corporations and governments believed it would attract more foreign investment and promote economic growth. Economic growth in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala is weaker than in the rest of Latin America. This economic instability contributes to the increase in drug trafficking. This prompted many residents, including children, to emigrate to the United States. CAFTA-DR is currently the largest free trade area in the world than other regional trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement. It would have been overshadowed by the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership if the negotiations had been concluded and the Trans-Pacific Partnership had been approved by Congress. In May 2004, the Salvadoran American National Network, the largest national association of Central American community organizations in the United States, opposed CAFTA, which they claimed was not ideologically motivated: “As immigrants, we have a deep understanding of the potential benefits of better transnational cooperation. We would like to see an agreement that increases economic opportunities, protects our common environment, guarantees workers` rights and recognises the role of human mobility in deepening the already deep relations between our countries. However, the NAFTA AGREEMENT is far short of this vision.  The Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) is a free trade agreement (legally an international agreement). Originally, the agreement included the United States and Central American countries, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, and was called CAFTA.
In 2004, the Dominican Republic participated in the negotiations and the agreement was renamed CAFTA-DR. Total merchandise trade between the seven countries was about $57.9 billion in 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Until October 2019, that figure was well on its way to ending the year at around $58.5 billion. CAFTA-DR also improves customs management and removes technical barriers to trade. It deals with public procurement, investment, telecommunications, e-commerce, intellectual property rights, transparency, labour and environmental protection. The Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras also approved the agreement. . . .