Salazar Proposes Bipartisan Free-Trade Agreement with Uruguay

Salazar Proposes Bipartisan Free-Trade Agreement with Uruguay

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
|
December 20, 2023

US Representative Maria Elvira-Salazar (R-Fl) has filed a bill to establish free trade between the US and Uruguay and streamline bureaucratic travel regulations between the two countries. 

Representative Salazar’s Uruguay Economic Partnership Act would add Uruguay to the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA).

CBERA, initially codified in 1983, was created to provide certain Caribbean countries with duty-free access to the U.S. market for most goods.

Currently, 17 Caribbean states are covered by CBERA. To be elegible for CBERA membership, states cannot be led by communist governments nor have nationalized any US national’s property. 

Salazar supported her bill via X, claiming Uruguay has become a “bastion of economic liberty” in South America and of the US’s “best friends.”

While the US imports more than $2.9 billion in goods from Uruguay, explained Salazar, the US lags behind China and Brazil as the main exporting partners.

Salazar also claimed establishing a free trade agreement with Uruguay is “crucial” given China’s intention to expand economic ties with South American states. 

Additionally, Salazar’s proposal would make Uruguayans eligible for E1 and E2 non-immigrant status. If Salazar’s bill is passed, Uruguayans would be able to conduct visa-free travel to the US for tourism or business for less than 90 days.

Representative Andy Kim (D-NJ) cosponsored Salazar’s bill. 

“This legislation is an important step to bolster our valued and close partnership with Uruguay,” said Representative Kim. 

“Strengthening ties between our nations will not only benefit our countries’ economic relationship, but also uplift cultural ties and create new opportunities for our Uruguayan communities in the U.S. and those in Uruguay.”

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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