U.S. impact negligible from Caribbean pact

The overall effect of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act on the U.S. economy and U.S. consumers continues to be negligible while the effect on beneficiary countries is small but positive.

That is the report from the U.S. International Trade Commission. The independent, nonpartisan, fact-finding federal agency, recently issued its 22nd biennial report monitoring imports under the Caribbean Basin treaty, which has been in force since  Jan. 1, 1984. Costa Rica used to benefit from this until it entered into the free trade treaty with the United States.

The agreement affords preferential tariff treatment to most products of the designated Caribbean countries.

The latest report notes that total U.S imports from all Caribbean countries declined for a third consecutive year to $8.5 billion in 2014.

U.S imports under the Caribbean agreement totaled $2.0 billion in 2014, a decline of 16.8 percent from $2.4 billion in 2013, said the report.

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