A Caribbean Basin Initiative (ICC) currently called "Commercial Association Agreement between the United States and the Caribbean Basin (CBTPA)", for exports to the United States and Puerto Rico.
The Caribbean Basin Initiative, also known by its English acronym CBI, was a unilateral and temporary program from the United States Government. Its objective was to promote Economic development in the region through entry for the majority of the products coming from Central America and the Caribbean, and making them exempt from the payment of customs charges within the territory of the United States.
This program came into being in January 1984 for a period of 12 years, an arrangement which was later modified by the Law of Recuperation of the Caribbean Basin (LRECC), commonly called "ICC II", becoming permanent in August 1990. In 2000, the United States’ Government approved a Law of Commerce and Development that expanded the commercial benefits of the program known as the “Commercial Association Agreement of the United States and the Caribbean Basin (CBTPA)".
There are currently a total of 24 developing countries designated as beneficiaries. The preferential system of the ICC or CBTPA applies in general terms to certain products. The Dominican Republic is the country that has most benefited from this agreement, given that it has become one of the main commercial partners of the United States in the last decades.
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Commercial Association Agreement between countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific with the European Union (Cotonou Convention), the agreement succeeding Lomé IV.
Since 1984 the Dominican Republic has participated in the Lomé Convention, which was a cooperation and preferential access agreement granted by the European Union (EU) to countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, which has been in place since 1975 for 45 countries. In particular, the Agreement allowed the export of the main agricultural and mining products from these countries to the EU free from customs charges, with the Dominican Republic being one of the main beneficiaries of the preferential rates awarded to bananas.
While in force, this Agreement underwent several amendments, the last being Lomé IV (1995-2000) involving 71 countries. In 2000, the EU and 77 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, signed what is now known as the Cotonou Convention, to replace the Agreement known as Lomé IV. Its main objectives were to promote economic, cultural and social development in the member countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, and to eradicate poverty in a coherent fashion with the objectives of sustainable development, among others.
In general, the EU will maintain preferential and non-reciprocal access to products from those countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, without any quantitative restrictions. This new agreements will be in force for 20 years (2020) and the preferential system will be in force until 2008.
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Generalized System of Preferences (SGP)
The Generalized System of Preferences (SGP) is the mechanism by which industrialized countries grant preferential unilateral customs tariffs to products coming from a certain number of developing countries. This undertaking was requested by the developing countries at the Second United Nations Conference for Commerce and Development in 1968 and came into effect with the European Economic Community in 1970; previously it brought together the United States, Japan, Australia and some Eastern European countries among others.
The main characteristic of the SGP is the unilateral nature of the preferences. This means that the country granting it does not receive the same preferential customs rate on its exports. The main objective of this system is to promote, through the expansion of trade, economic growth in developing countries and to favor their industrialization.
The Dominican Republic actively benefits from the SGP granted to its principle industrialized commercial partners, especially in European Countries, (France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland etc.) and the United States, which has permitted a wide range of products to benefit from the preferential tariffs and in addition, grants free access to certain basic or traditional products such as bananas, coffee, cocoa etc., in their natural state or as industrialized products
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