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Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI)

The trade programs known collectively as the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) remain vital elements in U.S. economic relations with our neighbors in Central America and in the Caribbean. The CBI is intended to facilitate the economic development and export diversification of the Caribbean Basin economies.

Initially launched in 1983 through the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA), and substantially expanded in 2000 through the U.S.-Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA), the CBI was further expanded in the Trade Act of 2002. The CBI provides beneficiary countries with duty-free access to the U.S. market for most goods.

The CBTPA entered into force on October 1, 2000, and continues in effect until September 30, 2020, or the date, if sooner, on which a free trade agreement as described in legislation enters into force between the United States and a CBTPA beneficiary country.

Pursuant to section 212(f) of the CBERA, on a biennial basis the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is required to submit a report to Congress regarding the results of the general review of beneficiary countries and their performance under the eligibility criteria. This Report provides an important opportunity to evaluate the effects of these expansions of CBI trade preferences. The latest CBI Report is available here. It is clear that the preference provisions are being actively used by beneficiary countries and U.S. industries.

There are 17 CBERA beneficiary countries:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Curacao
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Montserrat
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago

Eight of these 17 are also beneficiaries under CBTPA:

  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Curacao
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • St. Lucia
  • Trinidad and Tobago