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Pinder: High tariffs ‘not the only solution’

Minister responds to call for protective tariffs, highlighting variety of trade initiatives
  • Ryan Pinder.

SCIESKA ADDERLEY
Guardian Business Reporter
scieska@nasguard.com

Published: Oct 08, 2013

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The Ministry of Financial Service is in the initial stages of preparing anti-dumping legislation, designed to protect local manufacturers and consumers, Guardian Business can confirm.

“I think it’s a very important component to the protection of our consumers and local producers. That legislation is not expected to be brought to Parliament before next year,” Financial Services Minister Ryan Pinder said yesterday.

“Anti-dumping legislation is a necessity. Legislation and regulations will ensure that items are not being dumped here at below cost. When you are unable to measure the standards of the products that are coming into the country, you are at risk for below standard products being sold in the country, putting undue financial pressure on local producers.”

Just last month, Pinder stressed the importance of The Bahamas establishing a Standards Bureau, which is expected to be operational within the next 12 months.

“With a Standards Bureau in place, we will be able to provide our local producers with an even playing field. That, along with legislation will protect them,” he said.

Pinder said that amendments to the Standards Act and the Sanitary and Phytosanitary legislation to be tabled in parliament soon, along with the anti-dumping legislation are all expected to protect local producers and consumers.

His comments to Guardian Business came as The Bahamas Trade Commission’s Manufacturing Sub-Committee 2013 report outlined how Bahamian manufacturers have found it difficult to compete with lower-priced imports with tariff protection.

In the report, the commission also called for the enactment of critical anti-dumping legislation to protect local companies and consumers from foreign exporters flooding The Bahamas with low quality and potentially unsafe products.

“I think it’s not necessarily accurate or fair to assume that protective tariffs would protect industries. We have industries such as water that have 75 percent tariff rates, which are very high which they still say that they are experiencing high-level competition from foreign water producers in the country,” Pinder said.

“You have to look at a composition of measures. In certain industries, higher tariffs are helpful as was observed by the sub committee of The Bahamas Trade Commission. Legislation regulations to ensure that items are not being dumped here at below cost. The establishment of a Standards Bureau is of utmost necessity to protect local producers.

“I think the intent of the sub committee’s report of The Bahamas Trade Commission is that yes, certain industries would prefer protective tariffs, however that’s not the only solution. You need to have consumer and producer protection, protecting legislation and infrastructure to prevent dumping to ensure quality standards.”


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 15:34
 
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