(CBI) A permanent program designed to increase private investment, trade, and tourism in Caribbean countries, initially created by the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act of 1983 and amended several times. It 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 (as defined in the U.S. general rules of origin) 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 that a beneficiary country submit and carry out a stable food production plan ensuring that increased production of sugar and beef will not adversely affect overall food production. Preferential tariff treatment, though, does not extend to imports of: textiles and apparel subject to textile agreements, specified footwear, canned tuna, petroleum and its products, and watches and watch parts containing any material originating in countries denied most-favored-nation trade status. Special criteria apply 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 most-favored-nation 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.
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