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Jan 7, 2016

Can Belize’s Local Rice Industry Be Protected from Infiltration?

Irwin LaRocque

Among other issues pertaining to importation are specific conditions that safeguard markets within Lesser Developed Countries from being penetrated by goods being exported from More Developed Countries.  Such is the case in Belize where it is being argued that the local rice industry should be protected by government from infiltration by Guyanese rice.

 

Irwin LaRocque, Secretary General, CARICOM

“There is a provision in the treaty we refer to as Article One Sixty-four that allow for LDCs, once they have made an application to the Council for Trade and Economic Development, COTED, and once the COTED agrees to allow the LDCs which are Belize and the OECS countries to restrict the importation of a certain, very specific list of products for a very specific period of time and the COTED has determined that that restriction ought not to be by virtue of an import license but by virtue of a tariff that would allow to even up the playing field in terms of the competitiveness of the product.  Now there is a very specific list of products that COTED has agreed to and I believe that this is adequately reflected in your Supplies Control Act here in Belize in one of your schedules and that is the list that Belize has a legitimate right to restrict importation on coming from any of the LDC countries.  Now to be honest with you, my memory fails me now, I do not know if rice is on there.  I can’t remember.  I know things like furniture and other things are there, aerated beverages and so on.  I don’t think, I can’t recall, it’s a list of about twenty-four or so items, I don’t recall the total list but it’s only that basis.  It has to be that the LDCs as a group go to COTED, seek application for Article One Sixty-four protection.  The COTED would then decide if they would grant it or not and the COTED had agreed, I believe it’s a period of either five or ten years, it is still ongoing and that provides a legitimate right to the LDCs to restrict the importation of those very specific items and the restrictions by virtue of a tariff, not a ban on imports.”

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1 Response for “Can Belize’s Local Rice Industry Be Protected from Infiltration?”

  1. Peter says:

    Let the rice be imported.
    Mennonite rice are not good anyway plus they are not local. Local are pple like of the south that produce rice and cane in the north.

    Wake up

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