Cement importers are gearing up to renew their lobby for the Government to remove the 40 percent tariff which was imposed on cement one year ago. The move comes in the wake of a shortage of the product following last month’s heavy rains which disrupted operations at Carib Cement. Caribbean Cement has promised that the situation will return to normal in two weeks. But cement importers who had warned the Government against imposing the tariff as it would have provided an unfair advantage to Caribbean Cement are planning to present a petition to Commerce Minister Phillip Paulwell appealing for the duty to be rescinded.
Cement importer Norman Horne says the petition will be submitted in a week. The increase in the tariff took effect in September 2004 after Caribbean Cement Company filed a complaint with the Anti-Dumping and Subsidies Commission that it was being affected by the dumping of the product in Jamaica. Following a safeguard investigation, the tariff was adjusted from 25 to 40 percent.