T&T to protect poultry industry with tariff hike

15-12-2011 | | |

Trinidad and Tobago’s Trade and Industry Minister Stephen Cadiz has dismissed concerns that chicken prices will increase if the Cabinet opts to increase the tariff on imported chicken.

The Cabinet has sought to increase the tariff on imported chicken from 40% to 80%. “We are not banning foreign chicken. We are ensuring the local producers have as much chance to thrive,” he said. T&T’s poultry industry had been operating at a major disadvantage with low tariffs, in comparison to the Caribbean, as well as a loophole which allowed some imported chicken to come into the country zero-rated.

“Chicken farmers need to have a fair price. The market is constantly being eroded by imported chicken which now accounts for 35-40% of the chicken being consumed.” The Government’s decision to increase the tariff also was to safeguard the 20,000 jobs which the industry generated. Cadiz confirmed that imported chicken already had been moved from List A (agricultural products) in the T&T Custom Schedules to List C (revenue-based) to facilitate the increase. He maintained that T&T often received chicken parts which were not wanted in the US.

In the rest of the Caribbean region Barbados has a 184% tariff on imported chicken, Jamaica a 280%, Guatemala a 257% and Guyana a 100% tariff.

Source: Guardian Media