November 3, 2005
News Release 05-133
Inv. No. 332-227
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ITC FINDS IMPACT OF CBERA IMPORTS NEGLIGIBLE, DESPITE ENHANCEMENTS

The overall effect of imports under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) on the U.S. economy and consumers continued to be negligible in 2003-2004, reports the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in its report The Impact of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act, Seventeenth Report, 2003-2004.

The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, recently issued its seventeenth report in a series monitoring imports under CBERA. The CBERA program affords preferential tariff treatment to most products of 24 designated Caribbean, Central American, and South American countries.

The ITC report covers the impact of the CBERA on the United States, with particular emphasis on calendar year 2004. The CBERA requires the Commission to prepare a biennial report assessing both the actual and the probable future effects of the CBERA on the U.S. economy generally, on U.S. industries, and on U.S. consumers. The CBERA was amended in 2000 by the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA), which broadened the scope of products eligible for the tariff preferences, and in 2002 by the Trade Act of 2002, which clarified and modified the CBTPA. The CBTPA also instructed the Commission to report on the impact of the overall preference program on the beneficiary countries themselves. Following are highlights of the report.

The Impact of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act, Seventeenth Report, 2003-2004 (Inv. No. 332-227, USITC Publication No. 3804, September 2005) will be available on the ITC's Internet server at www.usitc.gov. The publication will also be available at federal depository libraries in the United States. A CD-ROM or printed copy of the report may be requested by calling 202-205-1809 or by writing to the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may also be faxed to 202-205-2104.

ITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs or trade and are generally conducted at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Senate Committee on Finance, or the House Committee on Ways and Means. The resulting reports convey the Commission's objective findings and independent analyses on the subjects investigated. The Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general factfinding reports. Upon completion of each investigation, the ITC submits its findings and analyses to the requestor. General factfinding investigation reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requestor for national security reasons.

-- 30 --