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Wenstrup and Sewell Introduce Bipartisan Caribbean Trade Bill

Washington, February 7, 2019 Contact: Ann Tumolo (202-225-3164)

WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Reps. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) and Terri Sewell (D-AL) introduced legislation yesterday to reauthorize the U.S. Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) until 2030. Since 2000, CBTPA has allowed for the duty- and quota-free import of goods made with U.S. yarns, fabrics and threads from Caribbean countries.

“Since its establishment nearly twenty years ago, the CBPTA has provided the dual benefit of expanding U.S. exports while stimulating job growth and economic development in these Caribbean nations,” Wenstrup said. “It is my pleasure to join Rep. Sewell in maintaining these critical trade partnerships by extending the CBPTA for another ten years.”

“Extending the U.S. Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act will expand the United States’ trade with Caribbean basin countries and increase our nation’s economic growth,” Sewell said. “Improving trade with countries like Haiti and Jamaica by reauthorizing CBTPA encourages future investment, promotes job creation and lays the foundation for long-term economic development.”

Kevin Bien, Senior Vice President – Global Supply Chain, Cintas Corporation said, “Haiti has been an integral part of Cintas’ Western Hemisphere supply chain since 2002. The programs enacted by Congress enable Cintas to supply our customers great value in a timely manner.  We are appreciative of Reps. Sewell and Wenstrup’s support and their leadership to help renew a program that is the founding pillar of U.S. trade rules with Haiti.”

CBTPA works in conjunction with the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) to facilitate the development of 17 independent countries of the Caribbean Basin region. For these two preferential trade programs to be effective, both CBTPA and CBERA must be authorized. Eligible CBERA countries include Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.