European Union says Jamaica risking credibility with failure to act on partnership agreement
Inside Costa Rica
Jamaica and Costa Rica are attempting to press forward with the formal implementation of a seven-year-old-free trade agreement signed in 2004 between Costa Rica and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
One of Jamaica’s major trade unions is insisting that Jamaica could be heading down a dangerous path if it goes ahead and signs the controversial Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union.
The Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) says it will seek to delay the signing of the proposed Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), between CARIFORUM and the European Union, to allow for a review and possible renegotiation of the agreement.
Article 149 requires the EC Party and the Signatory CARIFORUM states to provide for the protection of plant varieties in accordance with the TRIPS Agreement and to consider, in this connection, accession to UPOV, 1991.
In the light of the ongoing debate on the economic partnership agreement (EPA), the Jamaican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has released a chronology of the CARIFORUM EC/EPA negotiations
Jamaica enacted legislation for the protection of GIs through the Protection of Geographical Indications Act of 2004. However, protection under the law strictly complies with the standards laid out in the TRIPS Agreement and does not contemplate the "TRIPS plus" and "TRIPS extra" elements incorporated in the EPA.
The historic Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) skilfully brokered last December between the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) and the European Community (EC) is impressively wide in its scope, but the impact of its implementation in countries such as Jamaica is still largely unexplored.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding has announced that Jamaica is to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Europe on July 15. But he added that the signing could be called off if there is wide scale opposition.