Costa Rica Ratifies Free Trade Deal with China


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In San Jose, Costa Rica, a free trade deal with China was ratified on Monday. It’s set to be enforced beginning in July.

On Monday, Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla ratified a free trade deal with China, set to take effect in July. The move should benefit both countries, but not everyone is pleased.

Last year, commercial exchange between the two nations reached .2 billion. This year, the Costa Rican president addresses why the trade deal will be beneficial.

[Laura Chinchilla, Costa Rican President]:
“This agreement is an important mechanism which looks to stimulate national production, diversify products to export, promote investment, cooperation and the generation of better jobs.”

With the treaty in effect, near 57 percent of China’s exports will enter into Costa Rica tax-free. Almost all exports from Costa Rica, including its prized coffee, will enter China without tariff. With the new treaty, China promises to enforce strict quality checks.

[Wei Chuanzhong, Deputy Director, China’s General Administration]:
“Once the treaty comes into full force, our administration guarantees under strict laws of the treaty and under the supervision of both countries, the quality, and food security in agriculture product, food and industries within the free trade agreement.”

However, not everyone is convinced about China’s quality inspections or happy with the inundation of Chinese goods.

[Miguel Shiffter, Textile Businessman]:
“In the Costa Rican market, we are flooded with Chinese products, in other words, the problem will worsen or improve with the signing of a free trade agreement. It’s Costa Rica’s responsibility to establish necessary controls for quality control so that a control may be set with or without a free trade agreement.”

How this new agreement will actually impact the two countries can’t be determined until later. Chinese authorities are hoping the agreement with Costa Rica will lead to other free-trade deals with markets in the region, such as the United States.

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