Rice: Protectionist Measures Rejected

In Costa Rica, the Chamber of Commerce opposes the agreement signed between the rice sector and the government, which maintains the fixing of the price and the 35% tariff on grain imports.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The decision was made on August 23rd in the framework of the meeting in which the National Production Council (CNP), the National Rice Corporation (CONARROZ) and the Ministries of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC) and Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) participated.

An official statement details that "... the government will continue to establish a reference price to the producer that allows an adequate balance between the different links of the agro-chain and the price setting of piled rice."

See "Rice: Regional Imports up to September 2019"

Given these protectionist measures, the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce has expressed its discontent, arguing that it threatens the country's competitiveness.

Julio Castilla, president of the trade union, told Elobservador.cr that "... As a Chamber we defend free trade and work to improve the country's competitiveness at different levels, even the OECD has pointed out an absence of competition and an excess of protectionism in the rice market, which generates a distortion against consumers with fewer economic resources."

Castilla added that they are urging "... government authorities to reverse the negative effects on the national economy of fixing prices for rice grains."

Reports from CentralAmericaData state that during the first quarter of 2020, Costa Rican rice imports amounted to $15.1 million, an amount that is 16% lower than that reported for the same period in 2019.

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