Wed | Dec 7, 2016

Damien King's head buried in textbooks

Published:Tuesday | August 12, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I read with amazement the article ('JMA pushing a Trojan horse') written by Dr Damien King in The Sunday Gleaner of August 10, 2014. What utter nonsense! King obviously wrote this article without properly informing himself. Sometimes it is best that one keeps one's mouth shut.

I am a manufacturer and a member of the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association (JMA). I know not of any special privileges afforded to us that our trading partners do not have. The 'exemption' of taxes on raw material and packaging material is essentially a 'deferment'. The taxes are paid over to the Government once the finished goods are produced.

We need US dollars to pay our bills, without which we would be out of business, resulting in job losses and lower revenues to the Government. Without manufacturing, we cannot advance import substitution, which is needed to lessen our dependency on imports. It is without a doubt a very important plank in our economy. We are not advocating protectionism. We are merely seeking a level playing field so we can compete with our trading partners.

I have always maintained - and more so now - that there is a disconnect with what is taught and what is actually happening on the ground. Having a PhD does not make one an authority on every issue. I urge Dr King to transition from being an employee to being an employer, preferably in the manufacturing field. Then and only then will he be able to understand clearly the problems faced by the sector.

ANDREW GRAY

Gray's Pepper

grays.pepper@cwjamaica.com