The measure, negotiated in 2003, allows U.S. imports of up to 100 million cubic meters per year of clothing made in Central America with Mexican textiles, under the country of origin clause.
Of the 100 million cubic meters, 45 million can be pants and skirts made of cotton or synthetic materials, 20 million of blue denim, a million woolen jackets, suits and skirts, and 34 million garments classified as "other."
As a reciprocal measure, Mexico will import 70 million cubic meters of textiles from the United States.
The preferential system which allows Nicaraguan textiles made with raw materials from countries outside of the DR-CAFTA to enter the U.S. without tariffs will expire at the end of 2014.
"... By the end of next year the nine-year grace period given by the United States to Nicaragua will expire, a benefit known as tariff preference level (TPL) which allows the country to export clothing made from yarn and fabrics from third countries for a maximum annual volume of one hundred million square meters." noted an article in Laprensa.com.ni.
Accesorios Textiles S.A. invested 1.5 million dollars to provide labos to manufacturers of garments sold in the United States under the free trade agreement.
This Guatemala company is an example of the multiplier effect of free trade. Since the middle of 2006, when the agreement went into effect, it has invested more than 1.5 million dollars to buy machinery, expand facilities, and hire personnel to diversify its production.