Zoellick will join with trade ministers from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua to sign the trade deal. The Dominican Republic also is expected to eventually join the pact.
"CAFTA will promote U.S. exports to a large and important market, even as it supports continued openness and democracy in Central America," Zoellick said. "The FTA will reinforce free-market reforms in the region and also will strengthen the rule of law and sustainable development."
U.S. exports to the region have grown 71 percent since 1996 and totaled $10.9 billion in 2003. Including the Dominican Republic, CAFTA will create the second largest U.S. export market in Latin America, behind only Mexico.