Barack Obama Writes Letter to Dominican Republic’s Medina on Trade Talks

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Above: United States President Barack Obama (White House Photo: Pete Souza)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

United States President Barack Obama has written a letter to Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina about the possible impact of Trans-Pacific Partnership apparel provisions on the Central America-Dominican Republic-United States free trade agreement (CAFTA-DR).

Medina had earlier sent a communique to Obama expressing his concerns about issues in the negotiations of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, specifically Medina’s concern that the agreement could “adversely impact textile production” in member countries of CAFTA-DR.

“Our CAFTA-DR agreement is important to all of our countries,” Obama wrote in the letter. “Our respective textile and apparel industries share a long history of coproduction and partnership arrangements that have been mutually beneficial.”

The US president said the United States’ team of TPP negotiators “recognizes the unique nature of the CAFTA-DR in regional economic integration.”

“They are also mindful of the degree to which US suppliers are integrated with producers in the Dominican Republic,” Obama wrote.

The President said he had instructed his negotiating team to “factor these considerations into t the US approach in the TPP negotiations.”

Obama said that, since meeting in Costa Rica in May 2013, US trade representative officials had held “extensive meetings with all the ambassadors of CAFTA-DR partner countries on the topic,” and that the Department of State and Obama’s National Security Council staff had also met with the Dominican Republic’s ambassador on that topic.

“We will continue to keep your concerns in mind as we move forward,” Obama wrote to the leader of the Caribbean country.