Bipartisan Caribbean Trade Bill Introduced in U.S. Congress

written by BVC March 18, 2019
Photo of a large shipping container port with multiple cranes, boats and containers in view.

U.S. Reps. Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) have introduced legislation to reauthorize the U.S. Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) until 2030. Since 2000, CBTPA has allowed for the duty- and quota-free import of goods made with U.S. yarns, fabrics and threads from Caribbean countries.

“Extending the U.S. Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act will expand the United States’ trade with Caribbean basin countries and increase our nation’s economic growth,” Sewell said. “Improving trade with countries like Haiti and Jamaica by reauthorizing CBTPA encourages future investment, promotes job creation, and lays the foundation for long-term economic development.”

“Since its establishment nearly twenty years ago, the CBPTA has provided the dual benefit of expanding U.S. exports, while stimulating job growth and economic development in these Caribbean nations,” Wenstrup said. “It is my pleasure to join Rep. Sewell in maintaining these critical trade partnerships by extending the CBPTA for another ten years.”

The Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act would reauthorize the CBTPA until 2030, giving duty- and quota-free access to apparel products manufactured in certain Caribbean countries. In return, CBTPA requires that Caribbean Basin countries use U.S. formed yarns, fabrics, and thread. Eligible CBTPA countries include Barbados, Belize, Curacao, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

CBTPA works in conjunction with the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) to facilitate the development of 17 independent countries of the Caribbean Basin region. For these two preferential trade programs to be effective, both CBTPA and CBERA must be authorized. Eligible CBERA countries include Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

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