SCRAP IRON dealers are calling for the government's help to control the infiltration of foreigners in the industry, which, they say, will cause the death of the lucrative business.
Secretary of the Trinidad and Tobago Scrap Iron Dealers Association (TTSIDA) Kenny Plaza said yesterday it has been over a year that foreign companies have been setting up business and trading.
He said these foreigners first came to Trinidad to inspect the material that was being sent to them overseas, but they have now opened their own scrap yards and are competing in the local industry.
"This started causing a lot of unfair market advantage because for some reason they got the amnesty from Government for a three-year tax break," Plaza said.
He said the dealers were from India, China and America.
The association is calling on Minister of Trade, Industry and Development Vasant Bharath to step in.
Plaza stated: "The foreigners opening the yards here are buying at whatever rate they could get the material and if they continue at that rate, the industry wouldn't be sustainable.
"We want to have something where we can have control as to the volume of scrap going out the country equivalent to the generation of the scrap in the country to create a sustainable industry."
During a telephone interview yesterday, Plaza said should current practices be allowed to continue, jobs will be lost.
"If this gets out of hand, we would not have a supply of scrap in the country. We would not be able to support businesses for them to keep employing people. Local businesses will have to operate at a loss and probably close down.
"We as Trinidadians should not stand up to let foreigners come into our country and exploit our market and put people out of jobs," Plaza said.