Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act of 1983

Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act of 1983 (CBERA) — P.L. 98-67 (August 5, 1983), Title II, authorized unilateral preferential trade and tax benefits for eligible Caribbean countries, including duty-free treatment of eligible products.

Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act of 1983
Other short titles
  • Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act
  • Enterprise Zone Act of 1983
  • Interest and Dividend Compliance Act of 1983
  • International Trade and Investment Act
Long titleAn Act to promote economic revitalization and facilitate expansion of economic opportunities in the Caribbean Basin region, to provide for backup withholding of tax from interest and dividends, and for other purposes.
Enacted bythe 98th United States Congress
EffectiveAugust 5, 1983
Public law98-67
Statutes at Large97 Stat. 369
Titles amended
U.S.C. sections created19 U.S.C. ch. 15 §§ 2701-2707
U.S.C. sections amendedI.R.C. ch. 1 § 1 et seq.
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the House as H.R. 2973 by Andrew Jacobs, Jr. (D-IN) on May 11, 1983
  • Committee consideration by House Ways and Means
  • Passed the House on May 17, 1983 (382-41)
  • Passed the Senate on June 16, 1983 (86-4)
  • Reported by the joint conference committee on July 27, 1983; agreed to by the House on July 28, 1983 (392-18) and by the Senate on July 28, 1983 (90-7)
  • Signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on August 5, 1983

In pursuant of 97 Stat. 385, beneficiary countries qualified for duty-free treatment.[1]

Often referred to as the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI). Amended several times, the last substantive revisions were made in the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Expansion Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-382, Title II, August 20, 1990). This made trade benefits permanent (repealing the September 30, 1995 termination date). The law gives preferential trade and tax benefits for eligible Caribbean countries, including duty-free entry of eligible products. To be eligible, an article must be a product of a beneficiary country and imported directly from it, and at least 35% of its import value must have originated in one or more CBERA beneficiaries. Slightly different import value rules apply to articles entering from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The duty-free import of sugar and beef products is subject to a special eligibility requirement intended to ensure that increased production of sugar and beef will not adversely affect overall food production. Preferential tariff treatment does not extend to imports of: textiles and apparel subject to textile agreements, specified footwear, canned tuna, petroleum and its products, and watches or watch parts containing any material originating in countries denied normal trade relations (most-favored-nation) trade status. Special criteria applied to the duty-free import of ethanol through FY2000. Import-sensitive products, not accorded duty-free tariff treatment, are eligible to enter at lower than normal trade relations tariff rates. These products include handbags, luggage, flat goods (such as wallets, change purses, and key and eyeglass cases), work gloves, and certain leather wearing apparel.[2][3][4][5]

See also

Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act
Caribbean Basin Trade and Partnership Act
Latin American debt crisis


  1. Reagan, Ronald W. (November 30, 1983). "Letter to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate on the Designation of 11 Countries as Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act Beneficiaries - November 30, 1983". Internet Archive. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Service. pp. 1636–1637.
  2. "S.544 - Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act". Congress. U.S. Congress. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  3. "Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI)". USTR. Office of the United States Trade Representative. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  4. "Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act: Impact on U.S. Industries and Consumers and on Beneficiary Countries" (PDF). USITC. United States International Trade Commission. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  5. "Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA)". U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 3 June 2018.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Congressional Research Service document "Report for Congress: Agriculture: A Glossary of Terms, Programs, and Laws, 2005 Edition" by Jasper Womach.

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