Samaroo cites tax exempt rum competition from Puerto Rico

-at Capitol Hill event

Komal Samaroo (left) in conversation with US Congresswoman Stacey Plaskette (centre) and Wesley Kirton, Chair of Private Sector Council of the Institute of Caribbean Studies. Photo Credit: Victoria Gordon

Although rum has become the Caribbean region’s largest agriculture-based export earner following a decline in sugar earnings, the region is competing with other territories that are afforded tax exemptions by the United States (US), its primary trading partner.

This was highlighted by Chief Executive Officer of Demerara Distillers Ltd, Komal Samaroo, during a presentation at the 21st Annual Caribbean American Legislative Week luncheon at Capitol Hill in Washington DC yesterday.

Samaroo noted that the US rum market is dominated by supplies from the United States Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, which has claimed as much as 80% of the market, due to benefitting from the Rum Excise Tax Cover-Over, which provides generous support and subsidies…..

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