Costa Rica may arbitrate El Salvador customs claim

The country took a step further towards pressing its claim against El Salvador under the Central American Free Trade Treaty.

Costa Rica complains that El Salvador fails to provide preferential tariffs on imports from Costa Rica.

Costa Rican commercial negotiators met Friday with the treaty commission in San Salvador but no agreement was reached, the Ministerio de Comercio Exterior reported.

The next step, the ministry said, is to seek the establishment of an arbitration panel.

Costa Rica made a formal complaint Sept. 23 about the way El Salvador is treating products that originate in Costa Rica.

All Central American states are supposed to be bound by the free trade agreement although trade relations with the United States was discussed more when the treaty was being drawn up.

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