President Bush has urged U.S. lawmakers to approve the proposed Central American Free Trade Agreement.
Speaking to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Wednesday, Mr. Bush said passing CAFTA would create jobs and strengthen democracy in the western hemisphere.
Under CAFTA, tariffs on trade between Costa Rice, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and the United States would be lowered.
Mr. Bush said CAFTA will help reduce barriers around the world, opening up new markets to U.S. entrepreneurs.
CAFTA opponents have voiced concern that the agreement could cause job losses in America and expose U.S. markets to cheaper agricultural imports.
Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have already ratified the agreement. The U.S. Congress could vote on CAFTA in coming months.
Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters, Bloomberg.