CARICOM: Challenges and Opportunities for Caribbean Economic Integration [January 7, 2008]   [open pdf - 291KB]

"In 1973, the smaller, largely English-speaking countries of the Eastern Caribbean launched the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), an integration plan intended to coordinate and enhance the collective economic and social development of 15 countries. After three decades of incremental success, CARICOM's strategy for achieving complete economic integration now rests on implementing the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), formally established on January 1, 2006, and intended to be fully in place by 2015. CARICOM is a highly trade-dependent region undergoing major changes to its economic relationships with the world. Adjusting to these changes through the CSME is its primary development challenge. To realize the CSME vision, the member countries would have to implement considerably deeper commitments to integration. The Caribbean Basin has been a long-standing strategic interest of the United States. The success of CARICOM, as well as the continued stability of the region, have important implications for U.S. trade, investment, immigration, drug interdiction, and national security policies. Although small in size, CARICOM's trade and investment relationship with the United States may become a more prominent issue as the region adjusts to the changing external environment. […] This report evaluates CARICOM's development and implications for U.S. foreign economic policy. It will be updated periodically. For more on Caribbean issues, see CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report RL34157, 'Caribbean-U.S. Relations: Issues in the 110th Congress', by Mark P. Sullivan, and CRS Report RL33951, 'U.S. Trade Policy and the Caribbean: From Trade Preferences to Free Trade Agreements', by J. F. Hornbeck."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL34308
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