The Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) is the series of trade programs that seek to facilitate the economic development and export diversification of the Caribbean Basin economies. The Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (“CBERA”) was enacted on August 5, 1983 and authorized the granting of certain U.S. unilateral preferential trade and tax benefits for Caribbean Basin countries and territories. The Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Expansion Act of 1990 (“CBI II”) was enacted under the Customs and Trade Act of 1990. CBI II amended CBERA by making its trade benefits permanent through the repeal of its 12-year termination date (initially set for September 30, 1995) and implementing certain improvements to its trade and tax benefits.
The Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (“CBTPA”), enacted on May 17, 2000 under the Trade and Development Act of 2000, reduces or eliminates tariffs and abolishes most quantitative restrictions on certain products that were previously not eligible for preferential treatment under either CBERA or CBI II. CBTPA is also intended to foster increased opportunities for U.S. companies in the textile and apparel sector to expand co-production arrangements with countries in the CBI region. CBTPA benefits are in effect during a “transition period” that continues through September 30, 2010 or the date, if sooner, on which the Free Trade Area of the Americas or another free trade agreement as described in legislation enters into force between the United States and a CBTPA beneficiary country.
There are currently 19 CBERA beneficiary countries.