The WTO entry of China and its impact on the countries of the Caribbean Basin
The entry of China into the World Trade Organization, if it takes place, will unquestionably have a major impact on many nations. What is focused on here is the impact it would have on trade between the United States and the countries of the Caribbean Basin. The problems caused to the latter by Mexican membership of the North American Free Trade Agreement could be exacerbated by the shift of forces that would result from this new situation. The major expansion of textile and clothing exports from China to the United States that is in prospect would intensify the competition faced by the countries of the Basin and Mexico in that market. Nonetheless, the recent expansion of the trade benefits granted by the United States to the Caribbean Basin, which came into effect on 1 October 2000, gives a short respite (five years or so); in which these countries can seek to consolidate their exports, particularly of wearing apparel. In the case of footwear, increased trade between China and the United States could have adverse effects on the exports of the Dominican Republic to the United States market. As regards medical instruments, Chinese exports would compete strongly with those of Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic in that same market.