Thursday 4 March 2021

Canada files complaint against Costa Rica over high sugar tariffs

QCOSTARICA – The Canadian government filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Costa Rica, for the protectionist measure taken by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), in raising the tariff on sugar tariff.

The decision to exercise the right of suspension comes after the Costa Rican delegation did not reach a satisfactory compensation agreement for the safeguard measure set on the importation of sugar.

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Weeks ago the same situation occurred with Brazil. In this case, the South American country notified the WTO on October 16 about the lack of an agreement with Costa Rica.

In August, Victoria Hernández, Minister of Economy, decided to maintain a tariff for the importation of sugar up to 76.35%. The Minister made that decision departing from the criteria of the technical team that carried out the investigation, according to the press release sent by the company Maquila Lama, the main importer of sugar in Costa Rica.

Among the main products exported from Costa Rica to Canada are medical devices, sugar, pineapple, coffee, frozen food products, papayas, and cassava.

Eventually, one or more of these national products could be affected by an eventual increase in the tariffs that are paid.

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It is not the first time that the Minister has taken extremely protectionist measures. This year it also did it so with rice, despite the fact that Planning Minister Pilar Garrido had been talking about a price liberalization.

“Today we are facing this situation because an official made a decision departing from all technical criteria, hence we insist that the amounts set are high and disproportionate,” said the general manager of La Maquila Lama, Juan Carlos Sandoval.

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Q Costa Rica
Reports by QCR staff

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