Jamaica’s government has imposed a 40.0% tariff on cement imports for the next four years to protect local cement maker Caribbean Cement Company (CCC) while it undertakes a US$100m investment program, the Jamaica Observer reported. In September 2003, CCC filed for protection from Jamaica’s antidumping and subsidies commission, claiming it was being hurt by imports and stating that it needed to be protected while it upgraded its plant.
The commission initially recommended a temporary tariff increase from 15% to 40.83%, which the government approved last December. In July, the commission recommended that the tariff should remain at that level for four years. On Monday, the Jamaican commerce minister Philip Paulwell said the government had agreed on a 40.0% tariff for four years and said it would inform the World Trade Organization (WTO) of its decision.
CCC, a subsidiary of Trinidad Cement (TCL), at one point called for a 50% tariff on imports. The company said the protection was necessary while it upgraded its plant in anticipation of the lowering of tariffs that is expected to occur under the proposed Free Trade Areas of the Americas (FTAA).