Local November 11, 2023 | 7:59 am

Government will support those affected by Dominican Republic-Cafta

Santo Domingo—The Ministries of Industry, Commerce and Mipymes and of Agriculture, Inespre and Banco Agrícola are holding meetings to explore measures to support producers.
The Government will support with measures and public policies the agricultural sectors that could be affected by the dismantling of tariffs established by the Free Trade Agreement with Central America and the United States (DR-CAFTA).

The products that would be imported from the United States and Central America with zero tariffs by 2025 are rice; chicken thigh, breast and pieces, liquid and powdered milk, mozzarella cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream, glucose, beef, bacon and pork cuts, onions and shallots, and beans.

“The Ministries of Industry, Commerce and Mipymes and Agriculture; Inespre, the Agricultural Bank are holding meetings to explore measures to support our producers at a time when these products enter without paying tariffs,” explained the Vice Minister of Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Mipymes, Vilma Arbaje.

She said that assistance measures are being taken to optimize the productive processes of these sectors and actions that allow them to access cheaper credits.

She explained that in the case of rice, additional measures are being studied in accordance with the commitments that the country already has to administer the treaty or with the World Trade Organization (WTO), since this product is cultivated in 20 provinces and has more than 30 thousand producers.

In taking stock of the benefits of the agreement, Arbaje highlighted that the DR-CAFTA trade exchange for 2007, the year in which the treaty came into force, was US$11 billion and by 2022 it reached US$21.57 billion, almost doubling the amount of 2007. And 58% of total exports from the DR went to DR-CAFTA countries. In the case of imports, 49% originated in DR-Cafta member countries.

As of 2022, the five main export products to the bloc are cigars and cigarettes, electrical circuit breakers, medical instruments and apparatus, jewelry and T-shirts, which exceed US$3.2 billion. Ninety-seven percent goes to the United States and Puerto Rico.

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