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Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, has come out strongly against what he describes as non tariff barriers being imposed on Jamaican products.
“Right in our own backyard and to be more specific, in the area of manufacturing, only last week an established manufacturer who sought to enter the Trinidadian market, was blocked and not permitted to get an import licence for the product to enter Trinidad, because they said they had to visit the facility in Jamaica, before they will allow the goods to be shipped,” Mr. Samuda said.
“We believe in free trade and we believe the only thing that should contain that process is whether or not you can compete efficiently, or whether or not your goods are of a certain international standard, and whether or not you can supply adequate quantities with a degree of consistency,” he added.
Mr. Samuda was making his contribution to the 2009/10 Budget Debate, in the House of Representatives on April 29.
“If every time we are to enter a market, you have to travel to the source of the product and inspect it, then Bureau of Standards organisations throughout the world would mean nothing,” the Minister said.
“So, anybody who believes that on my watch as Minister, that I am going to sit idly by and have people impose non tariff barriers and use all sorts of excuses to bar our products (from) entering their market, while their products are free to enter our market, is making a sad mistake,” Mr. Samuda emphasised.
He noted that the Ministry is currently working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, to ensure that Jamaican producers are put on the same level playing field.
“We don’t want any preferential treatment, we ask for what we deserve and it’s an opportunity to compete fairly. So, anybody in any one of our sister territories who are engaged in or who are contemplating continuing with this type of policy, had better review that policy, because we are no longer prepared to sit back and have that continue,” the Minister declared.

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