Published On: Tue, May 28th, 2013

CARICOM, US to sign Trade Investment Framework Agreement during Vice President Visit

Joe BidenCARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana - Energy, Security, Human and Social Development as well as Trade and Investment are the general themes for the meeting on Tuesday 28 May between Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government and the Vice President of the United States, Mr Joseph Biden.

The meeting takes place in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago and CARICOM Heads of Government will be joined by the Vice President of the Dominican Republic. A highlight of the encounter will be the signing of a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) between CARICOM and the United States. CARICOM Chairman His Excellency Michel Martelly, President of Haiti will sign on behalf of the Community with Vice President Biden signing for the United States.

The meeting will chart the way forward for the TIFA including an initial action agenda intended to galvanise trade and investment activities both between the two sides and within CARICOM. To aid in this regard a Council will be established, led by a nominee of the CARICOM Chair and the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

The Council is expected to meet at least once a year and would among other things monitor trade and investment relations, identify and work to remove barriers to trade and investment. The Council would also facilitate expanded linkages between the private sectors on both sides. In 2011, the last year for which finalised figures are available CARICOM had a favourable trade balance with the US amounting to $1.2 billion US with exports totalling $8.6 billion US.

The discussion on energy will include avenues for co-operation on renewable energy while on Security, progress in implementation of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) and programmes under the Initiative to help stem the flow of small arms into and through the Caribbean will be part of the dialogue. Also on the agenda for the meeting are the status of Immigration Reform in the United States and the long standing issue of Criminal Deportee Notification.

Ideas for strengthening ties in Education along with Cooperation in Promotion of Human Rights and Countering Human Trafficking will also engage the leaders.

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