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Title: Africa Free Trade bill
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to adopt a conference report that would offer trade benefits to over 70 African and Caribbean countries that meet specified criteria and eliminate certain trade barriers.
Sub-Saharan benefit package:
- Bases eligibility for sub-Saharan benefit package on a country's progress in establishing a market-based economy, a democratic society, a set of economic policies that promote private enterprise and reduce poverty, and a system to combat corruption and bribery and promote political freedom.
- Instructs the President, when determining eligibility for sub-Saharan benefits, to consider a country's human rights record, its record of respecting internationally recognized workers' rights, and any potential links to international terrorism it may have.
- Instructs the President to establish a United States-Sub-Saharan African Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum within twelve months of bill's enactment.
- Grants duty-free, quota-free status to apparel articles and textile luggage assembled from United States fabrics, as well as to certain hand-made and hand-loomed articles originating in eligible sub-Saharan countries.
- Requires eligible sub-Saharan countries to implement laws that make transshipment of such goods illegal and allow United States Customs access to investigate transshipment allegations.
Caribbean benefit package:
- Bases eligibility for Caribbean benefit package on a country's progress in providing protection of intellectual property rights, respecting internationally recognized worker rights, providing protections to investors and investments of the United States, meeting counter-narcotics criteria, and offering competitive access to markets for United States exports.
- Grants duty-free, quota-free status to apparel articles and textile luggage assembled from United States fabrics, as well as to certain hand-made and hand-loomed articles originating in eligible Caribbean countries.
- Authorizes the President to reduce the quantities of textile and apparel articles that may be imported into the United States from a Caribbean country if that country has failed to stop or diminish instances of transshipment.