Golding Wants Gov’t to State Criteria for Offering Tariff Protection


Opposition Senator, Bruce Golding gave notice of a resolution to be brought before the next sitting of the Senate, calling on the Government to state clearly the criteria and principles upon which industries or sectors will be given special tariff protection and to say which industries or sectors are being considered for such protection.
Senator Golding’s resolution was in response to an announcement by Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. Omar Davies in Parliament last week, that he intended to bring legislation to the House, seeking an increase in the Common External Tariff (CET) on imported cement from 15 per cent to 50 per cent.
Dr. Davies has since said he would delay taking the legislation through Parliament to allow for consultations with interest groups.
Senator Golding argued that there already existed regulatory mechanisms to protect local producers from unfair competition by importers.
He also cautioned that, “this action will have the virtual effect of re-establishing a monopoly in the supply of cement without any provision to protect the consumers”.
The Opposition Senator also argued that, “this action is discriminatory in that other industries no less challenged by competition from imports and of no less importance to the economy are required to operate without similar protection”.
Dr. Davies, in bringing the matter before the House of Representatives, had argued that the increase in tariff was to protect local producer, Carib Cement and allow it time to re tool its operations.

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