Accessibility links

Guatemala Ratifies Trade Pact with US

Guatemala's Congress has ratified the Central American Free Trade Agreement with the United States. Lawmakers approved the treaty Thursday by a vote of 126 to 12.

Ratification of the accord known as CAFTA follows two days of protests by Guatemalans opposed to the pact.

The treaty would lower tariffs on U.S. exports to Central America and Central American farm products sent to the United States.

Critics say the deal will hurt local farmers and workers forced to compete against powerful foreign companies.

The United States signed the agreement last May with Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The Dominican Republic signed later.

El Salvador and Honduras have already ratified the deal.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.