Caribbean Basin Interim Trade Program: CBI/NAFTA Parity [Updated January 12, 2005]   [open pdf - 101KB]

"The entry into force, on January 1, 1994, of the North American Free Trade Agreement(NAFTA) has eliminated the advantage that the beneficiaries of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) and related provisions of the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) had enjoyed in trade with the United States relative to Mexico, and gave Mexico an increasingly significant competitive edge over the CBERA countries. Beginning with the 103rd Congress, Congress considered legislation to provide, temporarily, to CBI beneficiary countries tariff and quota treatment equivalent to that accorded to Mexico under the NAFTA. Although at the time favorably reported in several instances, the parity legislation was not enacted. Diverse versions of House and Senate parity legislation were eventually reconciled in the conference report on comprehensive trade legislation, passed by both houses and signed by the President May 18, 2000 (Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act -- CBTPA; Title II, P.L. 106-200). Legislation enhancing and broadening the scope of the CBTPA preferential treatment was included in different versions in broader legislation considered in the 107th Congress, and was eventually passed by both houses, signed by the President August 6, 2002 (P.L.107-210) and implemented by Proclamation 7626. Legislation introduced in the 108th Congress as an amendment to CBERA to provide to Haiti substantially enhanced preference for exports of textile apparel to the United States died in committee. On the other hand, legislation to provide duty-free treatment to many categories of footwear imported from CBERA and CBTPA beneficiaries was enacted as part of a comprehensive trade bill."

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CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB95050
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