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CARICOM Paint Manufacturers have recently written a formal letter to Antigua and Barbuda’s Trade Minister E.P Chet Greene, requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the findings of their comprehensive consultancy report titled “Trade in Paints and Paint Related Products: An Investigation into Unfair Pricing Practices and Possible Remedies.”
The study was commissioned by CARICOM Paint Manufacturers and coordinated by the CARICOM Private Sector Organization (CPSO) following an invitation from the CARICOM/Regional Paint Manufacturers.
The report’s objective is to address the issue of substantial underpricing of paints from the United States (US) that has significantly impacted the regional paint market.
Individual paint producers across the CARICOM region have raised concerns about unfair pricing practices for several years.
Although the governments have attempted to address this issue, the impact has been limited, requiring a coordinated response through the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED).
The letter highlights the importance of a ‘whole of community’ response through a Common External Tariff (CET) alteration rather than individual country actions.
The under-pricing practice threatens the success of the paint industry in the OECS and LDC, eroding price competitiveness and market share within both LDC and MDC markets.
CARICOM Paint Manufacturers, working together under the CPSO and the Caribbean Manufacturers Association (CMA), are seeking government support to establish fair and equitable conditions of trade for paints in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
The CARICOM Paint Manufacturers have proposed a meeting before September 29th, ahead of the upcoming session of the COTED-mandated ‘Open-Ended Working Group’ (OEWG) on October 2nd.
Marguerite Desir, speaking on behalf of CARICOM Paint Manufacturers, anticipates a positive response to their meeting request as they seek redress against the under-pricing that poses a significant threat to innovation, industry expansion, and the overall business continuity of regional paint producers.
This collaborative effort by the regional paint industry aims to bring attention to the urgency of addressing unfair trade practices and fostering a competitive and sustainable environment for paint manufacturers within the CSME.