GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Dec 12– Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries say they continue to have “serious concerns” regarding the competitiveness of Caribbean rum in the United States and have renewed calls for talks with Washington on the issue.
A statement issued at the end of the CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) noted that rum production and export were critical to the socio-economic well-being of the region.
“In addition to being the largest agriculture-based export industry in CARICOM, the rum industry is a substantial employer and a major contributor to foreign exchange earnings and government revenues,” the statement said at the end of the two-day meeting on Tuesday.
It said as a result, CARICOM continues to have serious concerns about the threat to the competitiveness of Caribbean rum in the United States market resulting from the massive subsidies provided by the governments of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) and Puerto Rico to multinational rum producers in those territories.
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