The Dominican Republic will continue to enjoy the protection of the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) whose implementation dates back 1984. The CBI will allow the Dominican Republic to export goods manufactured in the country to the United States under favorable conditions. According to US Trade Representative spokesperson Christin Baker, the United States is looking to have a smooth transition between the CBI and DR-CAFTA. In a 19 December statement, Baker said:
“To the extent possible, the United States will seek to create a seamless transition between the Caribbean Basin Initiative / Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBI/CBTPA) and the CAFTA-DR. Countries that have ratified the Agreement would retain their benefits under CBI/CBTPA until the CAFTA-DR enters into force for them and would retain their ability to seek retroactive duty refunds for qualifying textiles and apparel. Moreover, U.S. partners for whom the Agreement enters into force by April 1 can retain their full year agricultural quotas for 2006; treatment of quotas after that date will be determined as appropriate.”
However, Jose Antonio Flaquer, the head of the Dominican Association of Exporters says that the country has not prepared the export sector sufficiently in order to make the most of the opening of DR-CAFTA. Flaquer was complaining about all of the paperwork that is needed in order to export from the DR.