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CARICOM, Cuba Expand Free Trade Deal

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

10 November 2017

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries and Cuba on November 9 signed a Second Protocol to an Agreement that will expand tax-free access to each other's markets for goods.

CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque and Cuba's Ambassador to CARICOM, Julio Cesar Gonzalez Marchante, signed the Second Protocol to the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement between CARICOM and Cuba during the opening of the 45th Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in Georgetown, Guyana.

Under the Second Protocol, Cuba will expand duty-free access to more than 320 items including meat, fish, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, beer, rum, cement, soap, and apparel. CARICOM will grant duty-free access to 50 items, including fish, pharmaceutical products, fertilisers, and articles of iron and steel. The Community will also offer differentiated treatment on 22 items. The differentiated treatment includes phased reduction of duty by Most Developed Countries in CARICOM.

The CARICOM Secretary-General said that signing the Second Protocol marked a further deepening of the trade and economic relations between CARICOM and Cuba and provided further opportunities for the region's private sector.

CARICOM and Cuba signed the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement on July 5, 2000. The Agreement provides for, among other things, the promotion and expansion of trade in goods and services, by providing for: free access to the markets of the parties; elimination of non-tariff barriers to trade; the establishment of a system of Rules of Origin; and harmonization of technical and sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures.

CARICOM was formed to promote the free movement of goods, services, capital, and nationals between member states. It comprises Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

TAGS: Haiti | Suriname | tax | Bahamas | Montserrat | Saint Lucia | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | export duty | law | Belize | Grenada | Jamaica | Trinidad and Tobago | Antigua and Barbuda | Dominica | Guyana | Saint Kitts and Nevis | import duty | trade | Barbados | Cuba | services

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