Background

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is seeking comments by Aug. 31 on the operation of the Caribbean Basin Initiative (the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act as amended by the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act). USTR will use this information to prepare its biannual report to Congress on the operation of these programs.

Barbados, Belize, Curacao, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago are both CBERA and CBTPA beneficiary countries. Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines currently receive benefits only under CBERA.

USTR is accepting comments on any aspect of the CBI’s operation and is particularly interested in (a) the performance of beneficiary countries under the specified criteria, which relate to World Trade Organization commitments, intellectual property rights protection, labor rights, child labor, cooperation with counter-narcotics efforts, good governance, and government procurement; (b) whether beneficiaries have met any of the factors that would render them ineligible, which related to issues such as expropriation of property owned by a U.S. citizen, enforcement of arbitral awards involving U.S. corporations, and preferential treatment for goods of other developed countries; and (c) other factors such as the country’s economic conditions and living standards, market access for the U.S., use of trade-distorting export subsidies, and trade policies.

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