Friday, January 19, 2018

Scrap iron dealers call for curbs on foreigners

The Trinidad and Tobago Scrap Iron Dealers Association (TTSIDA) is calling on the Government to review laws that allow foreign dealers to operate in the country.

The group halted planned protest action yesterday after being called to a meeting with representatives from the Ministry of Trade at its Nicholas Tower, Port of Spain offices yesterday.

Allan Ferguson, head of the TTSIDA, said they would give the Government time to step in and find a way to curb what they describe as foreigners from taking advantage of the local scrap iron market.

"(Yesterday) we were supposed to have a march but the ministry called us to a meeting. We have tried to come to a settlement but we have not come to one and we put the meeting again for next week Friday," Ferguson said following the meeting.

The group said there were no major rules stopping foreign buyers from bypassing them and going directly to sellers of scrap iron, which effectively cut the asssociation out of the million-dollar industry.

"We will have the foreign buyers (meet) with ourselves to come to some settlement. In our mind it is clear, we do not want foreigners to open yards, but the Government stuck to the obligation to all foreigners to open the market. We have it clear that, we cannot allow our members to close up," Ferguson said.

He said for the past eight months local scrap iron dealers have been suffering.

The group said after yesterday's meeting it was clear that the Government was unaware of what was happening in the industry and now that they were apprised, they expected a resolution by next Friday.

Ferguson said if within two weeks there is no resolution, they will seek the assistance of the trade unions and the civil society groups and take their demonstration to the Prime Minister.