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From Crisis to Commerce: CAFTA and Democracy in our Neighborhood

Recorded on May 16, 2005

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Allison Auditorium

The U.S.-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) is about much more than trade. Only two decades ago, violence and civil war were a part of everyday life in Central America and the Dominican Republic. Today, after twenty years of democratic reform, the people of the region want to strengthen the foundations of democracy by cementing a special economic relationship with the United States. Coming on the heels of a visit to the White House by the presidents of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, Deputy Secretary of State Zoellick will discuss how CAFTA will promote freedom in a region of strategic interest to the United States.

ROBERT B. ZOELLICK became Deputy Secretary of State in February 2005. From 2001 to 2005, he served as the 13th United States Trade Representative. Previously, Mr. Zoellick was appointed an Executive Vice President at Fannie Mae. During President George H.W. Bush's Administration, he served as Under Secretary of State for Economic and Agricultural Affairs as well as Counselor to the Department. He was also appointed the President's personal representative, or Sherpa, for the G-7 Economic Summits in 1991 and 1992. In August 1992, he was named White House Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President. From 1985 to 1988, Mr. Zoellick served at the Department of the Treasury in various positions, including Counselor to the Secretary, Executive Secretary of the Department, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Policy.