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Acting U.S. Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro Hails Signature of United States-Caribbean Community Trade and Investment Framework Agreement

May 29, 2013

Washington, D.C. – This week, in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Vice President Joe Biden and Haitian President Michel Martelly signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), which will provide a forum for bilateral talks to enhance trade and investment and discuss specific trade issues between the United States and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The Office of the United States Trade Representative led the negotiation of the TIFA for the United States.

The 15 Member States of CARICOM are: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. In 2012, U.S. exports to the CARICOM Member States were $11.7 billion, up six percent from 2011. The leading categories of U.S. exports to the CARICOM Member States in 2012 were mineral fuel, machinery, and cereals.

“We are honored that Vice President Biden and Haitian President Martelly signed the TIFA, which provides us with a valuable framework to discuss trade and investment issues,” said Ambassador Sapiro. “We will work diligently to strengthen our relationship with CARICOM in order to expand trade and investment, create jobs across the hemisphere, and enhance competitiveness.”

The United States and CARICOM signed an agreement establishing a Trade and Investment Council (TIC) in 1991. That agreement will be replaced by the TIFA signed yesterday.

The United States-CARICOM Council on Trade and Investment, created pursuant to the TIFA, will address a wide range of trade and investment issues, such as facilitation of trade and investment, multilateral cooperation, intellectual property rights, worker rights, environmental protection, and removing barriers to bilateral trade. The Council will meet later this year.