United States and Caribbean Community Forge Stronger Relationship
Bilateral Trade, Intellectual Property, E-Commerce, Regulatory Cooperation Discussed at First Meeting under the U.S.-CARICOM Trade and Investment Framework Agreement
Washington, D.C. - On November 15, senior officials from the United States and from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) discussed enhanced cooperation in multilateral fora, an increased focus on intellectual property protection, the development of e-commerce infrastructure, and the removal of barriers to bilateral trade as important work to be done under the recently inaugurated U.S.-CARICOM Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). Deputy United States Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro and Mr. Neville Totaram of Guyana, on behalf of CARICOM, co-chaired the inaugural meeting of U.S.-CARICOM Council on Trade and Investment. Both sides also underscored the need for continued regulatory collaboration.
“The United States looks forward to strengthening our partnership with CARICOM and tackling important trade and investment issues under the framework of the new Council,” Ambassador Sapiro stated. “We have a large and growing relationship with our Caribbean partners. Working together, we have great potential to support job growth and boost competitiveness across the region.”
In 2012, two-way trade between the U.S. and CARICOM Member States was greater than $22 billion. The Caribbean Community shipped $11 billion in goods to the United States, and U.S. exports to the CARICOM Member States were $11.7 billion, up six percent from 2011. The leading categories of U.S. exports to the CARICOM Member States in 2012 were mineral fuel, machinery, and cereals.
Vice President Joe Biden and Haitian President Michel Martelly signed the U.S.-CARICOM TIFA in May 2013. CARICOM is comprised of fifteen Caribbean nations and dependencies: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. The leading categories of CARICOM exports to the United States in 2012 were mineral fuel, chemicals, and iron and steel.