The Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement is a free trade agreement between Canada and Honduras that came into force on October 1, 2014.  From 2000 to 2010, Canada was in multilateral talks with Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua (together the Four or CA4s of Central America) for a free trade agreement between Canada and Central America. In the absence of an agreement between Canada and CA4 after twelve rounds of negotiations, Canada and Honduras began separate bilateral negotiations in 2010. The final agreement was signed on 5 November 2013 by the trade ministers of both countries, as well as by cooperation agreements on environmental protection and workers` rights.  CAFTA-DR supplanted the former Caribbean Basin initiative and later the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act. CAFTA-DR has liberalized bilateral trade between the United States and the region and has also encouraged integration efforts between Central American countries by removing trade barriers and barriers to investment in the region by U.S. companies. CAFTA-DR requires countries to implement the reforms needed to mitigate systemic problems in areas such as customs administration; Protecting intellectual property rights services, investments and financial services market access and market access protection; Public procurement plant health and hygienic barriers (SPS); and other non-tariff barriers. Why has CAFTA, like U.S. trade agreements before and after, failed to reduce widespread labour abuses? Kim Elliot, a member of the U.S.
Free Trade Agreements` U.S. Free Trade Agreements, recently proposed this statement bluntly: the working provisions of U.S. trade agreements “are included because they are necessary to get congressional business.” She added: “This is really about policy, not how to raise labour standards in these countries.” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper`s visit to the city of San Pedro Sula for the signing of the first formal agreement in 2011 was the first time since the 2009 coup that a foreign leader visited Honduras.  Harper was criticized for starting negotiations with the government of Honduran President Pepe Lobo, with Canadian observers saying Lobo`s country was “a near-impoverished dictatorship” and criticizing Canada`s lack of response to human rights concerns in the country.  The Association Agreement between the European Union (EU) and Central America was signed on 29 June 2012. The Association Agreement is based on three pillars: political dialogue, cooperation and trade. The trade pillar of the Association Agreement came into force on 1 August 2013 with Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, 1 October 2013 with Costa Rica and El Salvador and 1 December 2013 with Guatemala. In June 2013, Honduras and Guatemala suspended negotiations with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), composed of Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) came into force in 2006.