The Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association, JMA, is alleging that Trinidadian rum maker Angostura is operating in breach of CARICOM export policies.
In a statement yesterday, the JMA says Angostura has been purchasing heavy rum concentrate in bulk from Cuba and South America and selling it to export markets including CARICOM without any substantial transformation.
The JMA says if these allegations are proven to be accurate, they represent a breach of international trade conventions and the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
It says it strongly condemns what it sees as a trade distorting act and a severe impediment to local rum exports and national consumption.
The JMA says preliminary data in 2015 show Jamaica may have lost approximately one-hundred million dollars in taxes due to the unfair practice.
It says this action could risk CARICOM’s reputation with international partners.
The JMA says it’s calling on the government and appropriate trade authorities to launch an investigation into the matter.