Friday 17th May, 2018 –Following extensive deliberations of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) today, Guyana and Suriname agreed to join the Less Developed Countries in agreeing to add paints to the list of products benefiting from Article 164 protection.
This product is one of three items, the others being flour, animal feeds, beer and brewery products that have been so far agreed to be added to Article 164 list, pending further consultations by the More Developed Countries. The meeting agreed that Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados and Guyana were given extra time before 13 June to complete their national consultations on the other raft of products being requested for the support.
Article 164 of the Revised Treaty is designed to promote the development of industries in the Less Developed Countries (LDCs) of CARICOM. The LDCs are allowed to suspend community origin treatment and impose higher duties on similar items from the MDC’s of CARICOM. Article 164 was last extended in 2012.
The COTED will reconvene on June 13 for a Special Meeting to consider other matters relating to the CSME including Article 164.
The decision of todays COTED is a signal of maturity and recognition of the critical importance of this provision of the Treaty which focused attention on the sensitive industries within the LDCs under Chapter 7 of the Revised Treaty according to a statement.
Chairman of the COTED, Hon. E.P Chet Greene stated that “for Antigua and Barbuda, the decision recognizes the significant contribution of the government to Lee Wind Paints in order to support the industry hopefully making it more viable. We recognize and the region accepted from data and the research that paints from the MDCs and extra regional sources are being imported into Antigua and Barbuda thereby undermining the market share of the indigenous Lee Wind Paints. No amount of retooling and other efficiency measures can allow the industry to become competitive. Therefore, we welcome the region’s support for allowing companies like Lee Wind Paints to grow and thrive under this flexibility of Article 164”.
Antigua and Barbuda will continue to work with our colleagues in the LDCs to ensure that the negotiations with the stakeholders in the MDCs are completed in favor of support to the other items being requested.