When President Obama visits with Caribbean leaders April 9 in Jamaica, broad trade and security issues should top his agenda. Trade growth in the Americas can drive jobs and development – a good thing for everyone. But security issues in one country can haunt its trading partners and damage not just their security but also international security – a very bad thing for everyone.
Jamaica seems to know this, which may be why President Obama accepted Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller’s invitation to host his meeting with Caribbean states. Jamaica has been working with the World Customs Organization and others to revamp and improve its Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programme, which certifies entities as following secure trade practices and affords them preferential trading privileges, such as fast-tracking shipments. Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Mexico are the only states in the area with AEO programmes.
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Photo credit: CLender via flickr