All of the countries that signed on to the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) have over the course of the last year, surrendered their favorable trade balances with the US (according to a report from the Red Regional de Monitoreo de los Impactos del TLC en Centroamerica.)
A steady influx of American agricultural goods over the past twelve months has created a condition whereby, as less competitive local producers go under, the whole region is losing its ability to feed itself and is further endangering its food security by becoming increasingly dependent on these imports. The report further suggests that the emergence of the biofuels industry could potentially amplify the negative effects because corn is the major dietary staple. (This part of the Red's 's case doesn't ring that true however, as they do have a lot of sugar cane. Why would they use corn like the dumb gringos?)
Anyway, none of this has discouraged Costa Rica from voting this weekend to join CAFTA. It was a close one though, with 52% in favour.