The World Trade Organization (WTO) has approved the extension of the Waiver of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA), which allows for continued duty-free access to the United States market for eligible Caribbean products, up to September 30, 2025. Through CBERA, 17 countries are beneficiaries of preferential tariff treatment intended to support the development of regional economies. The trade program was set to expire at the end of the year.
In a statement to the WTO, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) noted that the “region values its trading relationship with the United States and, through initiatives such as the CBERA, views it as a partner in pursuance of export diversification, spurring foreign direct investment, building competitiveness, and the economic resilience of the region”.
In 2018, CARICOM exports to the United States accounted for 32 per cent of its global exports while imports from the United States into CARICOM amounted to 36 per cent of CARICOM’s imports from all sources. Among products eligible under this act are textiles and apparel, energy-related products (e.g. petroleum and methanol), agricultural produce, and processed foods.
The Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) was launched in 1983 through CBERA and further expanded in 2000 under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act.