https://www.myjoyonline.com/import-restriction-li-has-potential-to-strain-trade-relations-with-us-uk-others-8-foreign-trade-associations-warn/-------https://www.myjoyonline.com/import-restriction-li-has-potential-to-strain-trade-relations-with-us-uk-others-8-foreign-trade-associations-warn/

Some eight foreign trade associations have expressed grave concerns about the proposed Legislative Instrument that restricts the imports of 24 goods into Ghana, saying, the LI has the potential to strain trade relations and create tensions with Ghana’s key trading partners, such as the US, UK, and the European Union. 

According to them, though they commend the Ministry of Trade and Industry for undertaking a public consultation on this proposed draft regulation, they see scenarios where the resulting higher prices of production and distortions to competition could create a more challenging environment as a result.

The trade associations include the American Chamber of Commerce, Ghana; UK Ghana Chamber of Commerce; Canada Ghana Chamber of Commerce; European Chamber of Commerce; France Chamber of Commerce and Ghana South Africa Chamber of Commerce.

“The proposed restrictions have the potential to strain trade relations and create tensions with Ghana’s key trading partners, such as the US, UK, and the European Union.  Measures that restrict the flow of goods could undermine the spirit of trade partnership agreements and hinder the smooth operation of trade between Ghana and its international partners”.  

“In short, we are local employers with a demonstrated commitment to producing in Ghana and sourcing locally for our production within Ghana where we can.  A permitting committee that directs who can import and to what extent, is not a measure that we would seek as a means to increase our competitiveness.  On the contrary, we can see scenarios where the resulting higher prices of production and distortions to competition could create a more challenging environment as a result”, the trade associations disclosed in a statement. 

It continued that as companies that seek to help realise Ghana’s goal of expanding its regional trade within Africa -- especially in the context of its leadership role as host of the AfCFTA Secretariat – “We are concerned about the demonstration effect of such a measure on neighboring or other African countries who may try to copy such a measure.  That, in turn, would limit Ghana’s international trade opportunities and the goals of developing regional value-added chains in agro-processing, automotive, and other sectors of priority to Ghana”.

“We would like to note, that Ghana has other tools to deal with legitimate trade concerns and there already exist multiple measures, policies, and taxes on some of the products on the list.  Used clothing has been subject to a major tariff increase.  Used autos are subject to various policies, including a special valuation regime and proposed inspection regime.  The industry has worked with the Government regarding a range of sugar policies and taxes.  Poultry is already subject to import permits.  Some plastics already attract special taxes”, they added. 

The companies that are franchisees have contractual obligations with franchisors about the use of inputs that meet certain quality standards, stating, “By restricting supply to those individuals/companies that the committee chooses to provide a permit for, local franchisees who employ thousands of Ghanaians could be forced to take supplies that they cannot even use, which can result in not meeting quality standards and closure of aspects of their operations”. 

They concluded that the member companies operate in multiple international markets and have had an opportunity to observe some specific unintended and far-ranging consequences from policies that have been attempted in other countries.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.



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