"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. The scheduled further implementation of the NAFTA would have resulted in a substantial advantage to Mexico over the CBERA countries and vitiate in part the purpose of the CBERA. 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. The legislation also would set up mechanisms for the accession of such countries to the NAFTA or an equivalent bilateral agreements with the United States. Due to its controversial nature, based on the perceived adverse consequences for the U.S. textile industry and substantial estimated negative effect on the U.S. budget, however, the legislative process reached an impasse in mid-1995. Although favorably reported in several instances since then, the parity legislation was not enacted."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB95050
U.S. Department of State: http://www.state.gov/