The Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce says it is “deeply concerned” about the impact illegal trade can have on the legitimate businesses conducting legal trade with the international community.
In a release on Monday the Chamber joined other business associations in expressing their concerns after it was reported last week that 732 pounds of cocaine with a US$100 million street value was discovered by Customs and Border Protection officers at the Port of Norfolk in the US state of Virginia last month in a container originating from the Port of Port of Spain.
“The Chamber is part of two delegations which are engaging in bilateral trade agreements between T&T-El Salvador and a Caricom/Canada Free Trade Agreement respectively—we believe that the issue of illegal substances originating from T&T shipments will certainly be a concern to our North and Central America neighbours, and it may hamper our trading relationships with them in the medium to long term.
“We agree with the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association that this is an issue that can hurt our thriving manufacturing sector and the reputation of the country.
“Our local manufacturers have worked hard over many years to develop and maintain their international image and have built an excellent reputation for their products in foreign markets. The Chamber would not like to see the continuance of any actions by any parties which could cause irreparable damage to their hard work,” the release said.