Textile and clothing items are considered highly sensitive to imports into the United States and elsewhere and their trade has been controlled by quotas set by bilateral textile agreements authorized under the AMF. In 1986, President Reagan established, by order, a Special Access Program (SAP) that granted Guaranteed Access Levels (GALs) to clothing from cbera eligible countries, provided it was composed of substances formed and cut in the United States. LAG shipments were cleared only on value added abroad.15 The rest of Table 1 is divided into three parts, with imports under various preferential programmes either subject to customs duties or duty-free. There are two dominant trends which are visible either from the point of view of the categories of imports subject to excise duty (Sections 1 and 2 of Table 1) or from the point of view of the duty-free categories (Section 3). The first took place from 2000 to 2006 and corresponds to the benefits of CBTPA for clothing imports. The second corresponds to changes after the CAFTA-DR implementation. A free trade agreement every hour, in line with US trade policy in the rest of the region. The U.S. vision for hemispheric integration focused on the full FTA model, as implemented with Mexico, Canada, Central America, Chile, Peru and perhaps in the near future with Panama and Colombia. If the path to integration were to start from harmonizing these agreements, a free trade agreement with CARICOM would further the broader U.S. trade agenda.

However, there are serious doubts as to whether there is a consensus in Congress at this stage to pursue such a goal. b. Reflects zero or near-zero use, under the heading `other taxable persons` or `other duty-free`. While some in Congress sympathized with the IWC country`s claims, especially after the devastation of the region by Hurricanes George and Mitch in 1998, it took years to garner support for passing laws. The idea was to grant NAFTA countries preferences equivalent to NAFTA until they could either join NAFTA or enter into a similar reciprocal free trade agreement with the United States. Since trade in textiles and clothing was at the heart of the programme, the legislation had to address the concerns of importing US producers. Nevertheless, on May 18, 2000, after Congress passed the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA – P.L. 106-200), additional benefits for a « transitional period » from eight years to September 27, 2008, or until a recipient country entered into a free trade agreement with the United States. Congress extended these benefits for two years in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246) and, again, until September 30, 2020 in the Haitian Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-171).

In the second part of Table 1, it should be noted that the total customs value of imports increased from 35.2% in 2000 to 20.2% in 2006, which is linked to two related trends: the final implementation of the WTO Uruguay Round commitments, which shifted some cbera imports to the NTR (other) category, and especially the implementation of the CBTPA for textile and clothing articles. . . . .