Letter to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate on the Generalized System of Preferences Relating to Countries of the Caribbean Common Market

March 18, 1982

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

In accordance with section 502(a) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, I herewith notify the House of Representatives/Senate of my intention to issue an Executive order proclaiming that all member countries of the Caribbean Common Market (Antigua, and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago) shall be treated, respectively, as one country under section 502(a)(3) for purposes of the Generalized System of Preferences. I have determined that CARICOM and its member countries meet all the requirements of a beneficiary developing country set forth in section 502.

My decision was made after giving due consideration to the following factors as required by section 502(c):

(1) The request of CARICOM that it be designated as an association of countries which is contributing to comprehensive regional economic integration among its members through appropriate means, including inter alia, the reduction of duties;

(2) The level of economic development of the member countries of the association, including their per capita gross national product, the general living standards of their populations, the levels of health, nutrition, education and housing of their populations, and the degree of industrialization of the countries;

(3) The fact that I will urge other major developed countries to treat this association as one country under their generalized tariff preference schemes;

(4) The fact that this association provides the United States with equitable and reasonable access to its market.

In making the decision to designate this association, I have also considered Congressional interest in encouraging regional economic integration among the developing countries as as means of fostering the political and economic viability of these countries and fulfilling their development goals. (See House Report 96 - 317, p. 200; Senate Report 96 - 249, pp. 271 - 273.)

All member countries of CARICOM are currrently designated beneficiaries of the Generalized System of Preferences. Each member country was designated as a beneficiary developing country in Executive Order 11888 of November 24, 1975, effective January 1, 1976. As a result, all member countries of CARICOM may be treated as one country with respect to eligible articles for purposes of the Generalized System of Preferences, as provided for in section 503(b)(1)(B) as amended.

Sincerely,

Ronald Reagan

Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr., Speaker of the House of Representatives, and George Bush, President of the Senate.