WTO approves CBERA allowing CARICOM duty-free access to US market

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WTO approves CBERA allowing CARICOM duty-free access to US market

Monday, October 21, 2019

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) – The World Trade Organisation (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, according to a statement issued by Guyana 's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It said that through CBERA, 17 countries, including Guyana and Jamaica, are beneficiaries of preferential tariff treatment intended to support the development of regional economies.

The trade programme was set to expire at the end of the year.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs quoted a statement in which the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) informed the WTO that the CARICOM 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,” the statement noted.

It said among products eligible under this act are textiles and apparel, energy-related products (eg 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.

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