Statement by Ambassador Katherine Tai on the Start of National Caribbean American Heritage Month

June 01, 2024

The United States and our Caribbean neighbors have always shared more than geographical proximity; we share friendship, kinship, and common values.  We also share parallel histories of hope through hardship—through colonialism, the enslavement of people of African descent, and the arrival of those from all parts of the world in search of a better future.  This month, we honor this perseverance, celebrate this history, and reaffirm our commitment to lift up all communities throughout our country.
Caribbean Americans are many different races and ethnicities, practice a variety of religions, and speak many languages.  This diversity—emblematic of our nation’s story—has been an engine to drive our economy and society forward.  I am proud to serve with extraordinary leaders of Caribbean heritage in the Administration and on my USTR team, and I am equally proud of the generations of Caribbean Americans that have built this country.  From health care workers to union organizers to small business owners to teachers, they have been true difference-makers.
This is why our Administration is working with our Caribbean partners to expand economic opportunity.  We launched the Crime Gun Intelligence Unit with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to disrupt firearms trafficking in the region.  We are also improving access to development financing and advancing clean energy projects across the Caribbean through the United States-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030.
Our work on trade is central to this vison as well.  Whether it is through programs like the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) Act, the Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP), and the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA); trade agreements like the Dominican Republic – Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR); or the United States – CARICOM Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and the Trade and Investment Council under the TIFA, USTR and the Biden-Harris Administration will continue to stand with Caribbean nations to craft a more resilient, inclusive tomorrow.
This month, let us rededicate ourselves to kindle this spirit of vibrant cooperation for the benefit of all our people for years to come.