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Renegotiating Common External Tariff will not fix trade imbalance - Shaw

Published:Saturday | May 14, 2016 | 5:08 AM
Shaw said during the first quarter of 2016, Trinidad sent more than $13 billion worth of goods to Jamaica, but received far less from Jamaica over the same period.

Finance Minister Audley Shaw says renegotiating the Common External Tariff (CET) set by CARICOM will not fix the trade imbalance between Jamaica and Trinidad.

The CARICOM CET stipulates that goods traded within the region should be subjected to lower tariffs than goods from outside the region.

Some say renegotiating the treaty will allow Jamaica to get higher tariffs on goods from countries like Trinidad and Tobago that send significant exports to the country.

However, at a post-Budget press conference today, Shaw said the CET is not the problem.

  

Finance Minister Audley Shaw

During his Budget presentation on Thursday, Shaw revealed figures which showed that Jamaica was performing poorly in regional exports and particularly exports to Trinidad and Tobago.

Shaw said during the first quarter of 2016, Trinidad sent more than $13 billion worth of goods to Jamaica, but received far less from Jamaica over the same period.

Many have argued that the CARICOM CET works in Trinidad's favour as that country uses it to dump products on Jamaica.