Imported chicken prices to increase in T&T

(Trinidad Express) Poultry industry insiders are warning of a sharp increase in the price of chicken, possibly before Christmas, following Government’s application to Caricom’s Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) for an increase in the tariff on imported chicken. The T&T Guardian understands that the tariff, which is already at 40 per cent, may go up to 80 per cent.

According to sources, this will make the cost of imported chicken prohibitive and will also impact on the price of the local poultry. At present chicken retails at pluck shops for approximately TT$5.25 a pound.

In an advisory to members last month, the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce revealed that the Government had applied to COTED for suspension of the Common External Tariff (CET) to increase the tariff on specified poultry products for two years. It said: “The action of the Government will be World Trade Organisation (WTO) compatible since the increase in tariff will be the bound rate.”

“If the upward suspension of the CET on poultry items is approved by the council, there will be a negative impact for the distributors of these items and their customers.”  According to reports, the application is being actively pursued by Trade and Industry Minister Stephen Cadiz and the tariff increase could take place by this week, pending support from some Caricom members, namely Antigua/Barbuda, Grenada, St Kitt’s/Nevis, Dominica and St Vincent.

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