Jamaica/DR Trade Mission Solidifies Relationships with Trade

May 17, 2017

A USDBC trade team traveled to Jamaica and the Dominican Republic (DR) in mid March to meet with important buyers and investigate ongoing challenges and opportunities in these important Caribbean markets. Jamaica is the largest buyer of U.S. small red beans. In 2015/16, the U.S. exported 3,739 MT of dry beans to Jamaica and 82% were small red beans. The challenge in this market are the non Caricom (Caribbean Community) tariffs applied to U.S. dry bean imports, which once added up can be prohibitive, as high as 85%.

Since the DR – CAFTA agreement went into effect in the Dominican Republic in 2007, U.S. exports to the DR have seen substantial growth and it is now a top market for U.S. dry beans, particularly pintos. From September 2016 through January 2017, 14,524 MT of U.S. dry beans were exported and 78% were pintos (FAS GATS).

Overall, during that four month period exports were down 26% from last year. Leading up to 2020, as the TRQ increases and the over -quota tariff declines, the government has taken formal and informal actions, primarily during the January -March DR dry bean harvest season, that have affected U.S. trade. USDBC is monitoring the impact on trade and is working together with the USTR and USDA, seeking to assure that terms of DR -CAFTA are fully implemented.

A full report on the trade mission is available on USDBC’s members only website. Both markets are critical to USDBC’s export market development and both are presenting trade policy related challenges that we will be monitoring and communicating to the industry should any action be required. In the meantime, we continue to work to protect our market share in both nations.

USDBC Caribbean trade team participants visiting a warehouse in Kingston, Jamaica (L to R, Ellen Levinson, Roman Kutnowski, Neil Durrant, Rohan Scott (Kestrel Industries Jamaica), and Norm Krause).

USDBC Caribbean trade team participants visiting a warehouse in Kingston, Jamaica (L to R, Ellen Levinson, Roman Kutnowski, Neil Durrant, Rohan Scott (Kestrel Industries Jamaica), and Norm Krause).

Posted in: Bean Bulletin, News