WASHINGTON — Five Central American countries and the U.S. launched the start of free-trade talks Wednesday with ambitions to complete a pact this year, but even on the first day, details of textiles and apparel trade surfaced as a knotty issue.

However, trade officials from all sides, joined by a throng of lobbyists and executives, including retailers and apparel importers, celebrated the day with two news conferences, a lunch and a congressional reception.

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