Central American Common Market (CACM), trade organization envisioned by a 1960 treaty between Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. The treaty established (1961) a secretariat for Central American economic integration, which Costa Rica joined in 1963; Panama now has observer status in some areas. By 1970 trade between member nations had risen more than tenfold over 1960 levels, and imports doubled and a common tariff was established for 98% of the trade with nonmember countries. However, the 1969 war between El Salvador and Honduras led to the latter's effective withdrawal, and the political turmoil in Central America during the 1970s and 80s left the organization moribund. The 1990s saw a revival of the organization, but its ultimate place with respect to the Central American Free Trade Agreement (signed 2004, and including the Dominican Republic and the United States) and the proposed (2001) Free Trade Area of the Americas is unclear.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.