CARICOM-United States Trade Up 39 Percent in the Last Three Years

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - April 2, 2012

Above: the fourth meeting of the US-CARICOM Trade and Investment Council in Georgetown (Photo: CARICOM)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Bilateral trade between the Caribbean Community and the United States has grown by 39 percent in the last three years, according to a joint statement from the two parties.

“The benefits of expanding trade have flowed to businesses, farmers, workers and consumers,” the United States and CARICOM said in the statement.

The two sides met for the Fourth Meeting of the United States of America-CARICOM Trade and Investment Council on Saturday in Georgetown.

They said they recognized “the positive contribution of trade among our nations to the promotion of growth, employment and development.”

Since 1983, the Caribbean Basin Initiative has granted unilateral duty-free treatment for imports of certain articles from CBI-beneficiary countries.

The talks in Georgetown focused on the operation of the CBI and how to take better of advantage of the opportunities available under the initiative.

Currently, 17 countries and territories receive benefits under the US’ Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act. Of those, seven receive benefits under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act.

The US announced following the talks that it would begin a process to consider granting unilateral trade benefits under the CBTA for Caribbean Basin countries and territories that currently do not receive them.

The two sides also discussed the new Web site, which is being used by small and medium-sized enterprises in the United State and other countries in the hemisphere. The US instructed officials to work with CARICOM member states to identify ways to bring more SMEs into the site.

The US will host the next meeting of the Trade and Investment Council in 2013.

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