Terri Sewell introduces bipartisan bill to bolster US-Caribbean trade

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Puerto Limon

On Wednesday, Alabama 7th District U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell introduced a bill extending the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA), which is currently set to expire in 2020, through 2030.

Since it was established back in 2000, the CBTPA has allowed for the duty- and quota-free import of goods made with U.S. yarns, fabrics and threads from Caribbean countries.

“Extending the U.S. Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act will expand the United States’ trade with Caribbean basin countries and increase our nation’s economic growth,” Sewell explained. “Improving trade with countries like Haiti and Jamaica by reauthorizing CBTPA encourages future investment, promotes job creation and lays the foundation for long-term economic development.”

Sewell introduced the bill with her House colleague, Republican U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup.

“Since its establishment nearly twenty years ago, the CBTPA has provided the dual benefit of expanding U.S. exports while stimulating job growth and economic development in these Caribbean nations,” added Wenstrup. “It is my pleasure to join Rep. Sewell in maintaining these critical trade partnerships by extending the CBPTA for another ten years.”

CBTPA works in conjunction with the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) to facilitate the development of 17 independent countries of the Caribbean Basin region. Sewell previously introduced this bill in 2017, but now with only one year until the CBTPA expires it’s causing uncertainty for various US retailers who source from the Caribbean, which is why she wants to extend the CBTPA until 2030.

Eligible CBTPA countries include: Barbados, Belize, Curacao, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.