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Dominican Government sacrificed RD$2.3B with Free Trade

Dominican Today, Santo Domingo

Dominican Government sacrificed RD$2.3B with Free Trade

22 April 2008

SANTO DOMINGO.- Figures from the Customs Agency (DGA) show Dominican Government has sacrificed RD$2.3 billion since the United States-Central America Free Trade Agreement began.

Although a Customs tariff is applied to 6,758 items, 3,679 of those have zero tax, as a result of the free trade deal and reforms. Since March 1 most imports were from the United States, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and the Dr-Cafta’s application gives them tax exemption.

Customs has said that products imported within the trade agreement must have lower prices despite the international factors which have an impact on the Dominican economy, such as high prices of petroleum.

Among the major consumer goods which have had the highest tax sacrifice are disposable diapers, batteries for inverters, apples, corn flakes, batteries for vehicles, washing machines and air conditioners.

A study by the Industry and Commerce Ministry shows that the country consumes few products within the free trade pact, because 14 sensible locally-produced items were protected with tariffs lowered in terms of 10.15 and 20 years.

Business leaders say their high operational costs prevents lower prices.