Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI)

The Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA, or CBI), adopted in 1983, was the first U.S. trade program to contain intellectual property rights-related provisions.  It contains both mandatory and discretionary criteria which must be met before countries can be designated as beneficiary countries. The CBERA provides unilateral duty-free access for most goods to the U.S. market to select beneficiary countries in Central America and the Caribbean.

The U.S.-Caribbean Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA), which first entered into force on October 1, 2000, expands the list of duty-free products and offers more market access opportunities to CBTPA-eligible countries. The CBTPA requires that each participating country meet all the CBERA IPR criteria as well as satisfying the CBTPA’s criteria that the country is meeting or exceeding its WTO TRIPS obligations and is taking steps to provide protection equivalent to standards found in bilateral IPR agreements. The CBTPA continued in effect until September 30, 2008 or the date, if sooner, on which the FTAA or another free trade agreement as described in legislation enters into force between the United States and a CBTPA beneficiary country. Because several beneficiary countries have entered into FTAs with the U.S., there are currently 17 eligible CBERA countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, 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. Congress has reauthorized this program until September 20, 2020.