La asociación de productores preocupada por la reducción de aranceles a la importación
THE Jamaica Manufacturers' Association (JMA) yesterday joined the agricultural sector in expressing concern regarding the proposed reduction in the Common External Tariff (CET).
"If duties are reduced, this will threaten the existence of several locally manufactured products, which will have implications for agriculture as well as the socio-economic health of the country," said a statement issued yesterday by the JMA.
"If the CET were to be lowered, items that will be negatively affected include rice, flour, milk, cooking oil, coffee, fruit and vegetable juices, cigars, rum, beer, poultry, soaps and cement," it went on to say. "While items such as fruit and vegetable juices and soaps have improved their competitiveness in the local market, this will be eroded with the implementation of the reduced CET and other products such as rum and beer will have little insulation or protection against increased competition from imports."
The JMA said another area of the Tax Policy Reform that is a cause for concern is the up to 25 per cent upfront payment at the ports for producers to import raw material, packaging material and capital goods, because of the implications for factory closures, job losses as well as an increase in the cost of goods.
"The manufacturing sector continues to create value to the economy through job and wealth creation, the JMA is therefore calling on the Government to implement a tax policy, which will further enhance the industry's contribution to overall growth and competitiveness," it added.