The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) says it does not support a call for a boycott of goods from Trinidad and Tobago following the latest incident regarding the decision by Immigration officials in Port of Spain to refuse entry of 12 Jamaicans last month.
“(We need to) explore the other avenues before we reach that stage. My initial reaction is to let’s sit down and reason this thing out and if we can’t get anywhere we will go to the next step,” JCC president Warren McDonald said on RJR radio.
The Trinidad and Tobago government has since said that the Jamaicans were denied entry because it felt that they would be a “charge” on the public purse.
Last week, President of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), William Mahfood, said Jamaica should consider using its influence within CARICOM until Trinidad and Tobago honours its obligations under the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy (CSME) that allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labour and services across the regional integration grouping.
“We need to stand up for our own rights as a country and we need to say to Trinidad , if you don’t allow us access to your country, whether it is to freely move within CARICOM (Caribbean Community) then you won’t have access to our market,” he added.
President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) Metry Seaga, is also calling for a re-examination of the CSME.
“It’s not working the way it was meant to work. We cannot pick and choose the parts of it that we want to implement and leave out the parts that we don’t. If people are going to Trinidad and being turned back, then we have a serious problem… “
Jamaica is the fourth largest market for goods from Trinidad and Tobago and buys approximately US$500 million of goods from the oil-rich twin island republic.
Courtesy: Antigua Observer