On October 10, 2020, the President signed into law H.R. 991 the “Extension of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act,” which provides preferential duty treatment of some apparel items imported from certain Caribbean countries. The Act extends the CBERA for 10 years, and is retroactive to September 30, when the underlying legislation expired. In a press release background section, the US Trade Representative (USTR) said that CBERA was launched in 1983 to facilitate economic development and promote economic diversification in the Caribbean region by providing duty-free access to the US market for certain goods from Caribbean beneficiary countries.
In 2000, the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) expanded this access to additional goods not covered under CBERA including apparel, petroleum products, and some agricultural products. The legislation signed by President Trump extends the CBTPA provisions of CBERA through September 30, 2030. The USTR said “CBTPA is unique among U.S. trade preference programs in that it requires the use of US-manufactured yarns or fabrics in finished apparel goods eligible for trade benefits, supporting many jobs in the US textile sector. The eligibility criteria under CBERA and CBTPA require that beneficiary countries meet certain requirements including 1) providing equitable and reasonable access to the markets and basic commodity resources of the country, 2) protection of intellectual property rights, and 3) taking steps to afford internationally recognized worker rights to their workers. CBTPA beneficiary countries are Barbados, Belize, Curacao, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.”
US Customs and Border Protection will be issuing instructions on how to claim benefits for shipments entered between September 30 and now