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‘Buy Bahamian’ Best Defence Under Wto

BAHAMIAN consumers can do “far more” to sustain local industries than any government under the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) ruled-based set-up, says the country’s lead negotiator.

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Zhivargo Laing

Zhivargo Laing, pictured, speaking as he unveiled The Bahamas’ initial goods and services offers that kickstarted the process of accession to full WTO membership, conceded that Bahamian manufacturers and other vulnerable industries would face intense pricing and other competitive pressures if they lost their existing tariff protection as a result.

“Competition is about my price versus yours,” he added. “If the Government sees a circumstance in which manufacturers may face additional competitive pressure, it can do what it has been doing. It can have concessions, WTO-compliant concessions that allow persons to maintain their price where it is. The WTO has mechanisms to allow local manufacturers to maintain their pricing in a competitive sscenario. Local consumers can help local industry far more than the Government can.”

He continued: “We vote for them when we purchase their product, and we vote against them when we buy the competitor’s product. We look at price and look at quality, and vote against them. No one can do more for a local manufacturer than the Bahamian public. That’s a choice you make.”

Mr Laing said there was broad agreement by the WTO working party, whose members will negotiate The Bahamas’ accession terms, that this nation’s opening goods and services offers were an improvement on previous submissions.

“Of the 164 members of the WTO, to-date we have received requests from some seven WTO members. These requests were largely requests to seek tariff lowering in specific areas of interest to the particular countries,” said Mr Laing, adding that the US has taken the “most active interest” thus far.

He added: “We have had a number of countries, Brazil, the EU and others who in our bilateral meetings or in writing provided some questions and or requests for changes.

“These are negotiations. They are live. Nothing is final at all. A decision on whether The Bahamas finally joins depends on these negotiations.”

Comments

TheMadHatter 1 week, 5 days ago

"He added: “We have had a number of countries, Brazil, the EU and others who in our bilateral meetings or in writing provided some questions and or requests for changes."

Of course, we won't publish those written requests online for you to see. Shut up and wait for 2022 when we will give you some chicken and a Jamaican reggae performance.

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 5 days ago

I don't like this thing where the government plows along making the public feel as if they're listening and taking input for their final decision when they've already decided exactly what they're going to do.

To me this is not an education campaign, it's a marketing play, they've gone whole hog into this thing paying a firm to "sell" this idea, as is, to the Bahamian public with nice pics of "educated" Bahamians talking about how wonderful things will be once we join.

It's the exact same playbook as the gaming referendum and the gender referendum. It's disingenuous at best, they have what they want to do they just want you to buy in. Their public statements waffle from "when we join" to "if we join". It's very disconcerting because it's clear their economic strategies to date have been wanting. It's also clear the Europeans have us by the gonads in every way, strategy, negotiation tactics,experience and leverage. Then they try to throw you off guard by telling you,you're the best prepared team we've ever seen...right...Look at Symonette and KP flying all over the world to comply with demands only to have Netherlands say, now do this...

Lower customs duties is part of the story, trade agreements with other countries is part of the story. They're giving us part of the story and it's extremely troubling. I've heard no one talk seriously about the fact that the got is considering income and corporate tax to makeup those same duties they claim will benefit us so much. What about the intersection of the CEB and the WTO what are the implications of that? Please give us the whole picture.

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ohdrap4 1 week, 2 days ago

Ah, I hard this story years ago:

A man left his cat with his brother while he went on vacation for a week. When he came back, the man called his brother to see when he could pick the cat up.

The brother hesitated, then said, ”I’m so sorry, but while you were away, the cat died.”

The man was very upset and yelled, ”You know, you could have broken the news to me better than that. When I called today, you could have said he was on the roof and wouldn’t come down. Then when I called the next day, you could have said that he had fallen off and the vet was working on patching him up. Then when I called the third day, you could have said he had passed away.”

The brother thought about it and apologized. “So how’s Mom?” asked the man.

After a short pause the brother replied ”She’s on the roof and won’t come down.”

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killemwitdakno 1 week, 3 days ago

It's what are the new chances for being able to sell Bahamian and own?

Let us know who in the Carribean has benefitted.

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birdiestrachan 1 week, 3 days ago

doc must have said as he did with Archer. He have to eat, he have to sleep so he gave Laing a job.

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