Document Type


Subject Area

Land & Water Division


This Comment evaluates the level of equality in the trade relationship between the United States (the U.S.) and Guatemala under the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (the CAFTA-DR). Guatemala has the largest economy in Central America and is a major agricultural exporter to the U.S.; despite this, Guatemala suffers from high levels of poverty, inequality, and corruption that particularly affect its indigenous and rural populations. The CAFTA-DR is the best tool to address the inequalities between the U.S. and Guatemala. However, the CAFTA-DR does not balance the competing interests of commodity production, nor does it consider the unequal capacity of Guatemala to implement its labor and environment provisions. Transnational Commodity Law balances the competing interests of commodity production, making it the most effective framework to address the inequalities in the labor and environment sectors between the U.S. and Guatemala. This Comment proposes several amendments to the CAFTA-DR, such as viewing Guatemala as a Commodity-Dependent Developing Country, heavily dependent on agricultural exports, recognizing communally held land by indigenous populations, and broadening the free trade agreement’s anti-corruption provision to include private firms engaged in commodity production. These proposed amendments would bridge the trade-agreement-implementation gap between partner countries and promote sustainable development under Transnational Commodity Law.




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