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Haiti’s ban on DR products is illegal says Industry official

President of the Dominican Republic Industries Association (ARID) Campos De Moya President of the Dominican Republic Industries Association (ARID) Campos De Moya
SANTO DOMINGO- Dominican Republic, Jul. 31, CMC – President of the Dominican Republic Industries Association, has called a ban implemented by Haiti on over twenty products from the Dominican Republic – “illegal and contrary to the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WHO)”

However, AIRD President Campos de Moya, said while the situation with neighbouring Haiti is of concern “we should not be hurling allegations and creating uproars with a country which we need to be in peace and cooperation.”

Haiti is Dominican Republic’s second most important export market, but as a result of the ban, bilateral trade fell by US$400 million.

On Thursday, Industry and Commerce minister José del Castillo revealed that Haiti has expanded the ban, which now includes chicken soup and flours from the Dominican Republic.

Haiti’s unilateral executive order to ban the entry of products from the Dominican Republic from crossing the border overland came into effect in October 2015, bringing to a halt 88.72% of the US$467.9 million yearly trade between the two countries.

The ban has placed a dent in trade, particularly at the bilateral market held on Mondays and Fridays.

The ban was enacted despite the Dominican Government’s request that Haiti to “rethink” the measure, and the European Union’s warning of an impending jump of 40% on the price of foods and other items in Haiti.

Haiti and the Dominican Republic have been locked in an escalating trade war for months sparked by Dominican efforts to deport Haitians.

The Dominican constitutional court  ruled in September 2013 that the children of illegal migrants born after 1929 would no longer be considered Dominican citizens and that any foreigner failing to register after Aug. 1, 2015, would face immediate deportation. Haitian migrants comprise the vast majority of the Dominican Republic's foreign residents, making them the primary targets.

According to the latest census from the Dominican National Bureau of Statistics, more than 450,000 Haitians have immigrated to the Dominican Republic since 2012 alone. Their remittances have even become a lifeline for Haiti's economy: Since 2014, Haitian migrants have sent roughly $800 million home from the Dominican Republic, accounting for about 9 percent of Haitian gross domestic product.

In the wake of the Dominican deportation initiative, more than 60,000 Haitian migrants have voluntarily left since mid-2015, many of them claiming they were the victims of abuses by the Dominican government.

The Haitian government then slapped a ban on the overland import of 23 types of Dominican goods. The ban has packed a punch because Haiti is the Dominican Republic's second-most important trading partner. Since 2014, the Dominican Republic has exported $1.4 billion worth of goods to Haiti, accounting for approximately 17 percent of its exports.

Haiti is also an important source of cheap labor for the Dominican tourism, construction and agriculture sectors, with Haitian migrants contributing more than 5 percent of Dominican GDP.

Last modified onSunday, 31 July 2016 10:24

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