United States Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick will meet with Caribbean
Trade Ministers in Jamaica on July 2 to discuss the Free Trade Area of the
Americas (FTAA), progress on global trade talks, trade capacity building, and
closer trade ties between Caribbean nations and the United States.
countries are an important voice in the dialogue on hemispheric economic
integration through the FTAA, and in global trade talks at the WTO. Through the
Caribbean Basin Initiative, we have built closer economic links and helped to
spur jobs and growth in both the United States and the Caribbean. The 30th
anniversary of Caricom – the Caribbean Community and Common Market – is a
fitting occasion to continue our work on economic integration through trade,"
The meeting of
Trade Ministers follows a similar dialogue held last September in Trinidad, and
will be held on the eve of the 24th Regular Meeting of the Caricom Heads of
Government. "I look forward to a dialogue with government officials, private
sector representatives, and opinion leaders from the region on ways to promote
economic development and increased prosperity in this region," Zoellick
discuss how capacity-building initiatives can help Caribbean nations benefit
more fully from trade negotiations. "Assisting developing countries to
participate fully and effectively in trade negotiations is an important U.S.
objective," Zoellick said. Over the past two years, U.S. trade-related technical
assistance has included more than $21 million for Caribbean regional projects.
Part of this assistance includes the Caribbean Trade and Competitiveness Program
– a $6.5 million U.S. project to promote private-sector growth and job creation
in the hospitality, tourism, information and communication technology
among the 34 democracies of the Western Hemisphere on the FTAA continue, with
Vice-Ministerial discussions to take place in El Salvador, July 7-11, and a
Ministerial meeting this November in Miami, Florida. The United States and
Brazil are co-chairing the final stage of FTAA negotiations. The negotiations
are scheduled to conclude by January 1, 2005.
The United States
and Caricom countries share $9 billion in total (two-way) trade in goods. U.S.
goods exports to Caricom were $5 billion in 2002, a 53 percent increase since
1994. The United States imported $4 billion of goods from Caricom in
countries are: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica,
Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia,
Suriname, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago.