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Tufton to move senate motion over T&T trade issues

Published:Friday | June 21, 2013 | 12:26 PM

Dariane Luton, Senior Staff Reporter

Opposition Senator Dr Christopher Tufton wants the Government to establish a mechanism that will allow consultations with the private sector on matters of trade disputes with Trinidad and Tobago.

Tufton, who is also the Opposition spokesman on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, today gave notice of his intention to move a Private Members Motion in the Senate on the issue.

He said there are concerns about breaches of the Treaty of Chaguaramas - the legal framework from CARICOM.

He said members of the business sector as well as the parliamentary opposition are of the view that there are treaty breaches or the application of the treaty has not served the best interest of the Jamaican economy.

Tufton has suggested that a mechanism be set up to focus particularly on matters of breaches of the rule of origin as well as the alleged energy subsidies applied by Trinidad and Tobago.

Two weeks ago, Foreign Affairs Minister A.J. Nicholson blasted the parliamentary opposition for its continued agitation against Trinidad and Tobago's trade practices.

"This thing about quarrelling with Trinidad everyday has to stop. Your opposition spokesman on commerce, every time he gets up to speak, [he is] quarrelling with Trinidad," Nicholson said.

Under the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which provides the legal basis for the operation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, Jamaica and other member states, apply the common external tariff (CET).

This, in effect, means that all goods which meet the CARICOM rules of origin are traded duty-free throughout the region.


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