Home > Diaspora News, Foreign Relations > Take grouses to CCJ -Jagdeo tells Jamaica

Take grouses to CCJ -Jagdeo tells Jamaica

by: Arthur Hall, Senior Staff Reporter @ Jamaica Gleaner

JAMAICA/GUYANA –President Bharrat Jagdeo has given Jamaica a not-too-subtle hint that it is wasting its time whining about unfair trade practices by its Caribbean neighbours.

Instead, Jagdeo has suggested that Jamaica and other CARICOM states take their trade grouses to the regional court.

“We have recourse now to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ),” Jagdeo told journalists yesterday during a briefing at the 31st meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government.

“We have all subscribed to the court in its original jurisdiction, which is the interpretation of the treaty, so if someone feels aggrieved and they have a strong case, they should go to the court, and if there is a court ruling the country will be forced to comply,” added Jagdeo.

The Guyana president reminded journalists that he has been vocal against protectionist barriers which have affected regional trade and accepted that some Caribbean producers might benefiting from cheaper inputs or greater subsidies.

“It is very difficult to prove those sorts of things because you are dealing with the rules of origin, and sometimes you don’t get all the information,” said Jagdeo, referring to the CCJ’s ruling against Guyana in its dispute with Trinidad Cement Limited.

Jamaica’s Industry Minister Karl Samuda was the first to complain publicly when he charged that Trinidad was using food-safety barriers to block the exportation of Jamaican patties to the twin-island republic. That row was eventually settled through negotiation, but not before some sabre-rattling by Samuda.

Agriculture Minister Dr Christopher Tufton last week charged that Jamaican primary producers were being short-changed within CARICOM as a result of a subsidised agro-processing sector in Trinidad and Tobago.

arthur.hall@gleanerjm.com

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