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U.S. Seeking Tariff Elimination in Bahamas’ WTO Accession Effort

Bahamas-map

The Bahamas initiated a WTO accession process in 2009 and hopes to achieve membership sometime next year. In the bilateral negotiations that are part of this process, the United States is seeking immediate elimination of import duties on U.S. products while the Bahamas favors a more gradual tariff reduction schedule.

Fresh/frozen U.S. beef enters the Bahamas at zero duty and the duty on fresh/frozen pork is 20 percent. While rates are low for selected items, the Bahamas’ most burdensome tariff is the 40 percent duty imposed on cooked/processed meat products.

Pork/pork variety meat exports to the Bahamas totaled 4,565 metric tons (mt) in 2013, up 7 percent from the previous year. Value was up 5 percent to $12.6 million. Beef/beef variety meat exports to the Bahamas trended lower last year, falling 14 percent in volume (3,068 mt) and 12 percent in value ($19.3 million) compared to 2012.