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TLC Does Not Mean Tender Loving Care: At Least Not for Everyone

March 1, 2007, marked the first anniversary of the implementation of a free trade agreement between El Salvador and the United States of America. DR-CAFTA has been something many SalvadoraƱos have opposed from the very beginning of negotiations. After one year of experiencing the effects first-hand of Tratado de Libre Comercio, also commonly known as simply TLC, it is unsurprising the streets of San Salvador were not quiet.

The innards of DR-CAFTA were hashed out behind closed doors by the elite power holders, in this specific case, the ARENA government and the Bush Administration. The TLC agreement passed all legislation necessary despite an immense amount of resistance against neo-liberal models of trade throughout the Americas. Before the creation of this free trade zone in 2005, foreign investment in El Salvador was at $300 million - in 2006 it declined to $222 million. Also in 2006, the inflation rate of El Salvador grew from 4.3% to 4.9%, the second quickest growth of inflation in the last 10 years for the country. As for the employment sector, a manuscript released by the United Nations' Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean claimed that in El Salvador, "in spite of economic growth, the unemployment rate has increased."

http://www.cispes.org/cafta/CAFTA_Monitoring_sept12.pdf

Related:The Salvador Project

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