Strengthens intellectual property protections.

President George W. Bush today Aug. 2 signed the Central American Free Trade Agreement, setting in place stronger intellectual property protections for the entertainment industry in that region and forging a template for future free trade pacts.

CAFTA will lift trade restrictions and tariffs between the U.S. and El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. It will also further open up the market for U.S. goods in the region.

The measure squeaked by July 28 in a 217-215 House vote. With Bush's signature, the pact is expected to be quickly ratified and implemented by the other countries.