Last update: 10-Dec-2013 1:42 am
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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TTMA worried about trade deal deadline
With just weeks to go to the December deadline for the Canada/Caricom Agreement, President of the T&T Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) Nicholas Lok Jack, has expressed concern that if it is allowed to expire, manufacturers will face increased duties which can have a domino effect on the final cost of production.
Lok Jack was speaking to reporters yesterday following a networking luncheon between the TTMA and Canada Manufacturers and Exporters (CME), Canada’s largest industry and trade association. The event was hosted by the Canadian High Commissioner to T&T, Gerard Latulippe at his residence, Fairways, Maraval.
Lok Jack said Caricom needs to determine what its position is when it comes to the agreement. He suggested that a bilateral agreement could be signed so that T&T manufacturers can continue to do business in the interim while negotiations are ongoing. “It’s been seven years, no position, The expiry date of the agreement is coming up, they haven’t done anything.
“Sometimes you have to choose a position that is the right one and go with it. The right position from a political point of view, is not always the most expedient one. President of CMEthe CME, Jayson Meyers suggested that both associations jointly write to Caricom stating the importance of having an agreement in place for T&T and Canadian companies.
“Business is a two-way street. You don’t do business if it is all one way, it has to be a win-win relationship. It needs to be supported by agreements which keep markets open and companies don’t have to worry about additional costs and tariffs and unnecessary regulatory restrictions,” he said.
High Commissioner Latulippe said he welcomed the initiative by the TTMA to invite the CME to T&T. He said he hoped for many more meetings between the two associations aimed at encourage investment in both territories. Commenting on the Canada/Caricom agreement he said: “I would leave negotiating to the negotiators. I am not a negotiator and it is not my intention to do it. This effectively is a concern for Caricom.”
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