"Thank you for your letter concerning our ongoing negotiations toward a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement. I appreciate your concern about the possible impoct of the TPP apparel provisions on our Central America-Dominican Republic-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) partners.
"Our CAFTA-DR agreement is important to all of our countries. Our respective textile and apparel industries share a long history of coproduction and partnership agreements that have been mutually beneficial. The United States team of TPP negotiators recognizes the unique nature of the CAFTA-DR in regional economic integration. They are also mindful of the degree to which U.S. suppliers are integrated with producers in the Dominican Republic.
"I have instructed my negotiating team to factor these considerations into the U.S. approach in the TPP negotiations. Since our meeting in Costa Rica in May 2013, United States Trade Representative officials have held extensive meetings with all the ambassadors of CAFTA-DR partner countries on this topic; the Department of State and my National Security Council staff have also met with your Ambassador to discus this topic.
"We will continue to keep your concerns in mind as we move forward."
President Obama's letter, which was made public last week by the government of the Dominican Republic, was in response to President Medina's letter of November 2013, in which he asked the government of the United States to consider maintaining in the Trans-Pacific Treaty of Economic Association (TPP) the integrity of the rule of origin for textile products and apparel because to the contrary, it would bring negative consequences for the textile industry of the signatory countries of the Free Trade Accord (DR-CAFTA).