Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
Jamaica's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, A.J. Nicholson, and his Trinidad and Tobago counterpart, Winston Dookeran, today got into action in a bid to hammer out obstacles that have emerged in free movement arrangements in the context of the Caribbean Single Market Economy (CSME).
Both men vowed to find solutions to the trade impasse that is threatening the already tenuous relationship between the two countries.
Nicholson told Winston Dookeran in the presence of journalists who got a glimpse of the first day of talks, that Jamaicans were displeased by a number of recent occurrences.
“The treatment meted out to Jamaicans at Piarco International Airport and the sharp increase in the number of Jamaicans being returned from Trinidad and Tobago have together generated considerable public outrage, Particularly in the wake of the Shanique Myrie ruling by the Caribbean Court of Justice, Nicholson”, Nicholson said.
Nicholson added: “It has diminished the goodwill on the part of many jamaicans at home and in the diaspora towards Trinidad and Tobago”.
Referring to the planned boycott of products out of Trinidad and Tobago in diplomatic wording, Nicholson told his Caribbean counterpart that the souring of relationship between the two countries has threatened to change patterns of consumption in Jamaica.
In his response, Dookeran said he was not in Jamaica to appease but to find solutions to what could balloon into a trade war. “The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is willing to work out a solution,” he asserted.
Dookeran disclosed that he had earlier met with influential stakeholders in Jamaica including the Jamaica Exporters Association; The Jamaica Manufacturers Association; the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce.
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