Under the agreement, more than 80% of U.S. exports will be able to enter DE-CAFTA countries duty-free immediately after entry into force, with all products having access to tariffs within 10 years. On June 30, 2005, the U.S. Senate approved CAFTA-DR by 54 votes to 45 and on July 28, 2005, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the pact by a vote of 217 to 215 votes, with two representatives not voting.  This vote was controversial because it was open 1 hour 45 minutes longer than the normal 15 minutes to get some members to change their votes.  For procedural reasons, on July 28, the Senate held a second vote on CAFTA and the pact obtained an additional vote from Senator Joe Lieberman, who was absent on June 30, in favour of the agreement.  Enforcement laws became Public Law 109-053 when it was signed by President George W. Bush on August 2, 2005. As part of the agreement, the parties significantly liberalize trade in goods and services.
CAFTA-DR also includes important disciplines in the areas of customs management and trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade, public procurement, investment, telecommunications, e-commerce, intellectual property rights, transparency, labour protection and the environment. CAFTA-DR creates new business opportunities for the United States, while promoting regional stability, economic integration and economic development for a large group of U.S. neighbors. In August 2004, the U.S. International Trade Commission published a study on the impact of CAFTA on the Dominican Republic and Central America. The report says the agreement is expected to generate benefits for U.S. exports, economic well-being and market access. DR-CAFTA is expected to increase U.S. exports by $1.9 billion in global implementation, more than any other recent free trade agreement, including Australia. In the absence of a CAFTA, U.S.
products face a competitive disadvantage in the region, as Central American countries have been actively involved in negotiating free trade agreements that do not include the United States. More than 20 trade agreements in Central America give preferences for products from Mexico, Canada, Chile and several South American nations. The Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) is a free trade agreement. The agreement originally covered the United States and Central American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua and was called CAFTA.