El Salvador and Costa Rica ended the trade dispute which went on for more than a year for canned tuna exports from El Salvador to the Costa Rican market, announced Finance Minister Hector Dada Hirezi, who was accompanied during the press conference by company representatives from the CALVO Tuna Group.
The official said the Ministry of Economy of Costa Rica initiated an investigation against the Salvadoran tuna for alleged dumping which is a very sensitive issue since it involves selling in the Costa Rican market at lower prices than the Salvadoran market, which is a prohibited practice in international trade.
"We do not object to such investigations, but they must adhere to what is established by WTO agreements and legal instruments of the Central American economic integration," declared minister Dada. He added that, in such cases, it is important to give the companies that are being investigated, sufficient guarantees to enable them to defend themselves against accusations.
Sardimar and Calvo Group are involved in a dispute over tariffs generated by the implementation of the multilateral treaty imposed by the US-Central America Treaty.
The Spanish-owned Calvo Group has a tuna processing plant in El Salvador from which it exports to Costa Rica - among other places - having paid the country a customs duty of 15% until January 2009, and afterwards taking advantage of CAFTA benefits by not paying the tariff for tuna in oil and paying 2.2% for tuna in water. This will obviously hurt the local sales of Costa Rican-owned Sardimar, which is protesting, stating that the situation violates the provisions of the General Treaty of Central American Integration since Calvo Group operates in a free trade zone in El Salvador and is exempt from most national and municipal taxes and Sardimar considers this a subsidy in disguise.
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