It also covers the protection of international property rights and requires their signatories to take certain transparency measures (e.g. B parties are required to criminalize corruption in matters related to international trade or investment).  In addition, the agreement contains, inter alia, chapters on investments, public procurement procedures and financial services. As part of the negotiations, national action plans for trade capacity-building were developed for each of the Central American countries. These national action plans identify needs and priorities for trade-related technical assistance. These documents were presented to government authorities, international organizations and businesses as well as NGOs with instruments and agencies to meet these needs. Documents have also been prepared to outline sources of trade capacity development. 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. The goal of the agreement is to create a free trade area similar to NAFTA, which currently covers the United States, Canada and Mexico. CAFTA-DR is also seen as a stepping stone to the EAFTA, another (more ambitious) free trade agreement that would encompass all south American and Caribbean nations, as well as North and Central America, with the exception of Cuba. Canada is negotiating a similar treaty called the Canada-Central America Free Trade Agreement.
The Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras also approved the agreement. They are all current members of CAFTA-DR. CAFTA-DR FTA Text The full text of the agreement is provided by the USTR (United States Trade Representative). CAFTA entered into force for El Salvador on 1 March 2006, for Honduras and Nicaragua on 1 April 2006 and for Guatemala on 1 July 2006. . . .