October 01, 2020

Cardin, Rubio, Jones Welcome Senate Passage of Bipartisan Bill Reauthorizing Caribbean Trade Agreement

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Doug Jones (D-Ala.) issued the following statements after the Senate passed the House version (H.R. 991) of their Extension of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (S.2473). This important bill, led by former Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), will extend until 2030 duty-free access for certain textile goods from 23 Caribbean countries that are made with U.S. yarns, fabrics, and threads until 2030. These trade preferences have stimulated the region’s developing economy while promoting exports of U.S. cotton and input materials abroad. The bill now heads to the President’s desk.

Preferences under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act extended by this bill were enacted in 2000 and extended in 2010. 

“I am proud of the passage of our legislation to provide long-term certainty and support for this important trade and development program. The U.S. and the Caribbean have close ties, which will be strengthened further by this long-term extension of CBTPA,” Cardin said. “By continuing this program, we continue our support and reinforce our economic and diplomatic relationships.”

“I was proud to introduce this bipartisan bill with Senators Isakson, Cardin, and Jones in order to extend the trade preferences of American cotton and other textiles with countries in the Caribbean Basin,” Rubio said. “This bill reaffirms the importance of our bilateral relations with our allies and essential trade partners in the Caribbean. I look forward to the continued success of this important bilateral trade.”

“This trade agreement has been crucial for our economy, both in Alabama and across the country,” Jones said. “Reauthorizing this deal is important to ensure that markets are available for Alabama’s cotton growers and textile producers, who were already facing hard times in the global trade landscape even before the COVID pandemic began. We need to do everything we can to support our businesses during these challenging economic times.

Cardin is the Ranking Member and Rubio is the Chairman, respectively, of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women's Issues.

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