In 2016 scheduled tariff reductions for rice imports begin as part of the DR-CAFTA, posing a threat to local producers.
Nicaraguan rice producers have pointed to the efforts made by the sector to achieve self-sufficiency in supplying the local market, and report that the main competitor unleashed by this tariff reduction is the US which they point out subsidizes rice production.
Representatives from the poultry sector will meet on August 5th and 6th to discuss issues such as the elimination of chicken imports from the US.
This convention will be held at the Crowne Plaza Convention Center and the participation of over a hundred poultry entrepreneurs, representatives from universities and government authorities is expected. Among the topics to be discussed during the congress is the use of technologies, supplies and services globally applied to the domestic industry.
The Under Secretary of Commerce in the United States sees no need for renewal of preferential tariff arrangements, which up to now have favored Nicaragua's textile industry.
Statements by the senior official of the Obama administration fell like a bucket of cold water over textile entrepreneurs, who claim that without the renewal of TPL, production costs will increase by up to 40%.
Nicaraguan businessmen have proposed that Central America as a whole operates a preferential tariff treatment in the US for imports of textiles in the region.
After trying to negotiate, through several formats, tariff preference levels (TPL), so far unsuccessfully, textile entrepreneurs are now appealing to the union of the region to address the issue with the US once again.
A bill that is being analyzed by the U.S. Congress aims to reduce the level of tariff preference to only 6% of imports from Nicaraguan textile factories.
Although the possibility exists of an extension of the current Tariff Preference Level (TPL) until 2015, American congressmen have proposed that the benefit be granted only on cotton pants, which represent the lowest proportion of Nicaraguan textileexports to the United States.
The private sector and the government are developing a plan to maintain competitiveness and minimize the effect of the zero tariff entry of textiles to the U.S. market from Vietnam.
The program being worked on is called 'Total Occupancy of Industrial Parks'. The plan involves reducing the cost of electricity in the maquila parks, developing a project for generation which will devote its production to industrial parks and offer "in the case of new projects, a discounted rate (per kilowatt)".
They are supporting Costa Rica in the dispute it has with El Salvador over the lack of respect for the DR -CAFTA and they are requesting action to be taken to end the paralysis of intraregional trade at Salvadoran customs offices.
The Federation of Chambers and Associations of Exporters in Central America (Fecaxca) is proposing that the fee of $18 being charged at customs offices in El Salvador be only imposed on goods which have the country as a final destination, and not everything that passes through Salvadoran territory which may be destined for other Central American countries.
A dispute over the failure to implement tariff benefits on the part of El Salvador on tires and juices exported by Costa Rica has not been resolved using other methods.
The Costa Rican Minister of Foreign Trade, Anabel Gonzalez confirmed that on January 20th El Salvador will be taken to court for not applying the tariff benefits negotiated in the FTA between the U.S., Central America and the Dominican Republic on tires and juices.
Exporters of dehydrated ethanol claim that the U.S. is applying an ad valorem tax of 2.5% which is outside of the provisions of DR-CAFTA.
According to Anabel González, the Minister of Foreign Trade (Comex), Costa Rica has not exported the product during the second half of 2013, because the annual quota for receiving the benefits is 31 million gallons.
Increased prices are predicted along with less variety in drugs and agrochemicals because of the progressive protection of patent rights.
Román Macaya, director of the National Chamber of Generic Producers (Canaproge) explained that at the end of this decade the market will feel an impact on the protection of branded drugs and agrochemicals. The changes will occur due to the agreed extension of rights in the FTA between the U.S., Central America and the Dominican Republic.
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