For­eign min­is­ter says post-brexit trade deal close to be­ing fi­nalised

Daily Observer (Jamaica) - - NEWS -

MIN­IS­TER of For­eign Af­fairs and For­eign Trade Se­na­tor Kam­ina John­son Smith says the tech­ni­cal work for the rollover of the Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship Agree­ment (EPA) into a new CARIFORUM-UNITED King­dom (UK) trade ar­range­ment post-brexit is close to be­ing fi­nalised.

“The Euro­pean Union (EU), I as­sure you, re­mains an im­por­tant trade part­ner for Ja­maica and our CARIFORUM col­leagues, and the EPA will re­main in place,” she said.

“It will con­tinue to be the frame­work un­der which we trade with the EU, so we con­tinue to work towards its rat­i­fi­ca­tion and to call on en­trepreneurs and other play­ers in the pri­vate sec­tor to ex­plore op­por­tu­ni­ties within this frame­work, even as we seek to im­prove im­ple­men­ta­tion,” she added.

Se­na­tor John­son Smith was ad­dress­ing the quar­terly press brief­ing at the min­istry’s Do­minica Drive head­quar­ters in New Kingston on Novem­ber 7.

Mean­while, she said that tar­iffs im­posed by the United States on alu­minium and steel con­tinue to have lit­tle or no ef­fect on Ja­maican busi­nesses.

The min­is­ter at­trib­uted this to the “al­ter­na­tives and flex­i­bil­ity” that ex­ist in the trad­ing ar­range­ments with coun­tries that Ja­maica ex­ports to “such that we have not been im­pacted”.

“In fact, we have been ad­vised by the rel­e­vant line min­istry that Ja­maica’s earn­ings from baux­ite and alu­mina for the first half of 2018 were 60 per cent and 95 per cent, re­spec­tively, of the en­tire ex­port val­ues in 2017. If that (trend) con­tin­ues, we will, in fact, have grown in the sec­tor,” she said.

She said the im­prove­ments that have been achieved

MIN­IS­TER of For­eign Af­fairs and For­eign Trade Se­na­tor Kam­ina John­son Smith says the tech­ni­cal work for the rollover of the Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship Agree­ment (EPA) into a new CARIFORUM-UNITED King­dom (UK) trade ar­range­ment post-brexit is close to be­ing fi­nalised.

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