Haiti ban on Dominican Republic products again roils ties
Santo Domingo.- The governmentof the Dominican Republic recalled its ambassador in Haiti on Wednesday in protestto Port-au-Prince´s announced ban by overland entry of 23 Dominican products,ostensibly to improve quality controls and ensure its population´s safety.
In a press releasethe Dominican Foreign Ministry announced the recall of Ruben Silié forconsultation and warned that if the restriction is enacted – which Haiti hasyet to officially notify-, would violate binational commitments between the twocountries, such as one on trade signed July 10, 2014.
For the ForeignMinistry the ban also violates international commitments by both countries withinthe World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding, among other issues, the mostfavored nation treatment, freedom of movement and the elimination ofquantitative restrictions.
"This actioninvolves a limitation to land trade between the two countries, the same resultingdiscriminatory to the Dominican Republic, as the only country which borderswith the Republic of Haiti, so we would be the only country in the WTO, whichwill be affected by the prohibition, " the Foreign Ministry said.
The Government alsocautioned that if materialized the decision announced by Haiti´s government makesit more difficult to reactivate the possibilities of talks and cooperationbetween the two countries which thus far remain in limbo.
Millions in losses
If the measure materializesthe economic cost to Dominican Republic would be as high as US$100 million, accordingto Dominican Exporters Association (Adoexpo) president Sadala Khoury.
The latest ban on Dominicanproducts comes just one year after Haiti halted the entry of eggs and chickens,which also led to millions in losses and also led to a jump in their pricesacross the border.