October 05, 2020
BIRMINGHAM — U.S. Senator Doug Jones of Alabama today announced that last week, the Senate passed the House of Representatives version of his bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) until 2030. Under the agreement, Caribbean businesses are incentivized to use American textiles – many of which are made in Alabama – during production.
“This trade agreement has been crucial for our economy, both in Alabama and across the country. Reauthorizing this deal is important to ensure that markets are available for Alabama’s cotton growers and textile producers, who were already facing hard times in the global trade landscape even before the COVID pandemic began. We need to do everything we can to support our businesses during these challenging economic times,” Senator Jones said.
The CBTPA is a trade agreement that provides duty-free access for certain textile goods from 23 Caribbean countries that are made with U.S. yarns, fabrics, and threads. Many companies in Alabama, including those in the cotton industry, benefit from this agreement.
Preferences under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act extended by this bill were enacted by Congress in 2000 and extended in 2010. Without reauthorization, the legislation would have expired.
The legislation was also sponsored by Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Ben Cardin of Maryland. Congresswoman Terri Sewell of Alabama is the lead sponsor in the House of Representatives, where the bill passed unanimously. The legislation now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.