Cement firm fears trade war backlash

Cement firm fears trade war backlash
Published: 16 June 2009

Less than three months before the current waiver of the 15 per cent duty on imported cement expires, monopoly producer, Caribbean Cement Company Limited (CCCL), says it is unsure whether it can emerge unscathed from the tussle between governments.

The company is expressing fears that the ongoing Caricom trade tussle may end up prolonging the suspension of the common external tariff (CET), which Caricom members are required to impose on extra-regional products.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding and Industry Minister Karl Samuda continue to accuse several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries of throwing up roadblocks to Jamaican exports.

"I would hope that it does not impact on the present issue, because the two matters are not related in any way, shape or form," CCCL’s marketing manager, Alice Hyde, said this week.

"Market forces, competitiveness, efficiencies are what should determine what the market share is, and that’s what a free and fair market is all about."