From his seat on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is pushing the reauthorization of a trade law between the U.S. and more than 20 Caribbean nations.
Last week, Rubio, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Mary., and U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., brought out the “Extension of the Caribbean Economic Recovery Act.” The proposal would extend the current agreement–which has been in place for almost two decades until 2030. According to Rubio’s office, the agreement concerns “duty-free access for certain textile goods from 23 Caribbean countries that are made with U.S. yarns, fabrics and threads” and has “stimulated the region’s developing economy while promoting exports of U.S. cotton and input materials abroad.”
“Extending these targeted trade preferences through 2030 will help to boost key American exports in a crucial region for U.S. national security interests and hemispheric stability,” Rubio said. “I’m proud to cosponsor this bill, which will reaffirm our nation’s commitment to developing deeper commercial and economic ties with Haiti and our other allies in the Caribbean.”
“For nearly 20 years, the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act has stimulated jobs and investment,” Isakson said. “Not only does this program aid Georgia and American cotton growers, textile producers and U.S. trade in general, it is beneficial to our regional allies. It is a win-win-win prospect, and I hope we can quickly pass this reauthorization to maintain this alliance and encourage future investment.”
“The countries in the Caribbean Basin are increasingly vital trade partners for American companies—stimulating economic growth here at home and in the region,” Cardin said. “I am proud to introduce this bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act so we can continue to create jobs while we strengthen the relationship between the United States and countries in the Caribbean Basin.”
“The Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act has been crucial to lifting people out of poverty and providing markets for our farmers and textile industry,” Jones said. “Reauthorizing this agreement is critical to our economy and our partnerships with our neighbors and allies in the Caribbean and now more than ever, it’s vital that we work across the aisle to strategically grow new markets for US exports.”
The agreement is set to expire in 2020 unless renewed.
“Since its inception, yarn and fabric exports made from U.S.-grown cotton have doubled. In 2018, these exports accounted for 430,000 bales of U.S. cotton,” Rubio’s office noted.
U.S. Reps. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., and U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, have introduced companion legislation in the House. U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., is a House cosponsor.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.