0001196 - A Common Vision for the Future: US-Dominican...

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Spring 2008 The Ambassadors REVIEW 27 A Common Vision for the Future: US-Dominican Relations in the 21 st Century P. Robert Fannin United States Ambassador to the Dominican Republic he United States of America’s relationship with the Dominican Republic is based on shared goals and aspirations for greater economic prosperity, security and democracy. With an estimated one million Dominican Americans living in the United States, there is a natural constituency for close and collaborative relations between our two countries on the full spectrum of bilateral economic and political issues, and there is a long-term recognition of the need to support our friendship in times of plenty and in times of need. This relationship extends to a common fight to control the illicit trade in narcotics, to strengthening democratic institutions and fighting corruption, building the educational foundation for the Dominican Republic’s next generation, and many other vital areas. Yet the true building block of the strength of our relationship starts with the cultural and social ties we share and cultivate. American tourists flock to the beaches and resorts in the Dominican Republic to enjoy the hospitality of its people and the world famous natural beauty of the island. Dominican Americans send roughly $3 billion in remittances to their family members in the Dominican Republic each year, representing a little less than ten percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Dominican baseball players, such as Robinson Cano, Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez and David Ortiz, are heroes of America’s national pastime. Dominican government officials and private individuals regularly travel to the United States on State Department-sponsored international visitor programs to learn first- hand about the policymaking process in Washington, discover opportunities for commercial partnerships, or launch journalistic exchanges. Dominican merengue and bachata musicians play in the clubs of Miami and New York City, and American jazz musicians perform in the concert halls of Santo Domingo. These types of exchanges are just a sampling of the broad range of interactions between our two countries. Our political and economic relationship grows closer, as highlighted by the March 2008 one year anniversary of the entry into force of our free trade agreement with the Dominican Republic and Central America, known as CAFTA-DR. The agreement is opening opportunities for US businesses, as evidenced by the nearly 15 percent growth in US exports to the Dominican Republic in 2007, and it is expanding economic freedom in the Dominican Republic. We have seen the benefits that free trade can bring to countries in Latin America, where countries like Chile and Mexico have dramatically reduced their poverty levels through open economic policies. Obviously, free trade is not a guarantee of social justice, but job creation and economic growth do benefit those most in need. President Bush has said, “The working poor of Latin America need change, and the
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This note was uploaded on 01/25/2012 for the course POLS 494 taught by Professor Garymoncrief during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.

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0001196 - A Common Vision for the Future: US-Dominican...

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