US-Caribbean Trade Agreement Extended
An extension to the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Agreement (CBTPA), the expanded form of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA), has been unanimously approved by the United States (US) Senate on Wednesday, September 30th.
The amendment, introduced to the US Senate’s Ways and Means last June, extends the CBERA until September 2030; thereby, continuing to allow thousands of goods originating from beneficiary states to enter the US duty-free, with a few exceptions as outlined under the Act. The products eligible for preferential treat include wood products, tropical fruit products, fresh and frozen seafood, and ethnic and specialty foods such as spices, jams and confectionary items.
The CBTPA is an essential agreement for beneficiary Caribbean countries as the United States serves as a significant trading partner for the region. Approximately 30% of CARICOM exports are destined for the United States.
Among the seventeen beneficiary countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Bahamas, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.