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June 17, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, Congresswoman María Elvira Salazar (R-FL) and Congressman Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) introduced H.R. 3964, the bipartisan Nicaragua Free Trade Review Act with Mark Green (R-TN), Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Brian Mast (R-FL), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), Michael Waltz (R-FL), Byron Donalds (R-FL), Charlie Crist (D-FL), Liz Cheney (R-WY), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), Rick Crawford (R-AR), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), Michelle Steel (R-CA), and Rep. Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (R-PR). This bill requires the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to review Nicaragua’s compliance with CAFTA-DR (a Free Trade Agreement between the United States and 6 Central American countries) within 60 days.

On November 7, 2021, Nicaragua is scheduled to have its presidential election. Yet, Daniel Ortega has embarked on a violent crackdown on democracy and jailed the opposition candidates running for President. Ortega is dismantling Nicaragua's democratic institutions, actively undermining US interests, and violating the rights of the Nicaragua people. Reviewing Nicaragua’s compliance with the CAFTA-DR Free Trade Agreement is not only necessary, but urgent.

"Under Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua has become a land of oppression" said Congresswoman Salazar. "Ortega's thugs are jailing political opponents and violently silencing dissenting voices. I've introduced the Nicaragua Free Trade Review Actbecause trade with the United States is a privilege, not a right. We must showOrtega's regime that they cannot continue repressing the Nicaraguan people while reaping the economic benefits of free trade with the United States. America should not be in the business of trading with dictators."

“I am saddened by Ortega’s aggressive dismantling of Nicaragua’s fragile democracy and hard-fought freedoms. I call on him to immediately reverse these actions and respect Nicaragua’s own laws and constitution. At the same time, there’s no reason the United States should reward his regime with preferential access to the US market—that’s why this bill calls for an immediate revision of Nicaragua’s compliance with our free trade agreement.” said Congressman Malinowski.

First signed by President Bush in 2005, the Dominican Republic-Central America FTA (CAFTA-DR) is a free trade agreement between the United States and Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, as well as the Dominican Republic. Collectively, the countries that comprise this agreement are the United States' 18th largest trading partner.

Congresswoman Salazar currently represents Florida's beautiful 27th Congressional district which includes most of the City of Miami, its suburbs, and the beaches. She serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and is the only woman, of either party, to serve on the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.

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