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Rubio, Nelson Introduce Legislation to Extend Caribbean Trade Program

Oct 5, 2017 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) today introduced the Caribbean Basin Economy Recovery Act, legislation that would strengthen U.S. interests and economic ties with Caribbean nations such as Haiti, Jamaica, Barbados, Belize, Curacao, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and St. Lucia.
“Extending these targeted trade preferences helps boost key American exports and solidifies fragile economies, like Haiti’s, in a crucial region for U.S. security,” said Rubio. “This bill will help reaffirm the U.S. commitment to developing deeper economic relationships with our regional allies, and supporting stable and democratic political institutions in the Caribbean.”
“These trade programs are a lifeline for some of our closest allies, which also happen to be some of the poorest countries in the Caribbean.” said Nelson. “Extending this trade program not only helps provide stability in the region, it also helps the Florida businesses that rely on international trade.”
The bill extends the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA), which was established in 2000 to allow certain Caribbean countries to export goods made with U.S. yarns, fabrics and threads into the U.S. duty-free.
Under current law, CBPTA’s preferential trade treatment for these Caribbean countries is set to expire on Sept. 30, 2020. This legislation would extend the program through Sept. 30, 2030.
To be eligible for preferential trade treatment under CBTPA, participant countries are required to uphold strict labor standards and help further other various U.S. interests in the region, including countering narcotics trafficking and ending government corruption.
U.S. Representatives Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Terri Sewell (D-AL) introduced the companion bill in the House.